How often do you floss? Do you see the dentist every six months? How about bleeding gums – do you worry about those? Opinions on those three topics differ from person to person, and it’s hard to find a plain-spoken and clear answer on those and many other topics in dentistry.
Not knowing the truth, however, can cost you a lot of money, pain, and unnecessary dental work. At 7 O’Clock Dental we’ve made it our goal to be there for all your dental care needs, and that includes cutting through the myths and misunderstandings that seem to follow dental care wherever it goes!
Are Regular Dental Appointments Really That Important?
Ask two different people what they think of the regular six-month dental checkup and you’ll get two completely different answers. While plenty of people come to see us at our New Orleans office twice a year there are plenty more who only come in when something goes wrong.
The truth is that regular preventive exams and cleanings are essential to a healthy mouth. Oral bacteria, which is responsible for tooth decay and gum disease, builds up in all the spaces that you can’t keep clean with brushing and flossing. And trust us – there are a lot of those!
Those hard-to-clean spaces get really dirty, and when they do your risk of gum disease and tooth decay both skyrocket. Cavities don’t usually develop on the spots you clean – they develop on those spaces you can’t get to. Regular appointments are essential not only because we keep those spaces clean, but also because we’re able to identify and treat those cavities before they become serious.
When it comes to dental care waiting is simply asking for things to go wrong.
Is Daily Flossing Really Necessary?
Have you ever forgotten to brush your teeth? They feel pretty gross after a while, don’t they? Plaque builds up, they get sticky, and your breath starts getting really bad. That’s what happens to your mouth if you don’t keep it clean, which is easy to do with twice-a-day brushing. But what about those spaces between your teeth?
When you don’t floss you’re letting a little bit of that gross mouth feeling stay behind. It probably won’t be enough plaque and food particles to cause bad breath or even affect how your mouth looks and feels, but it will be enough to start eating away at your teeth and gums!
Daily flossing is just as important as brushing your teeth twice a day. When you skip flossing you’re leaving a whole mess of bacteria, food particles, and acids behind. The spaces between your teeth are some of the most vulnerable in your mouth – don’t let them end up destroyed because you didn’t floss daily.
Bleeding Gums Aren’t That Big Of A Deal, Right?
Let’s say you’re brushing your teeth. You go to spit at the end of a good scrub and you notice some blood in the water: should you be concerned?
A lot of us end up with a bit of bleeding in our gums, and yes: it’s serious. Gum sensitivity and bleeding is one of the earliest signs of gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease. Without treatment gingivitis can become incredibly serious, putting you at risk for gum recession, tooth damage, and even eventual tooth loss.
Many of the patients we see stop brushing when they see blood. They assume it’s a sign they were brushing too hard or that they got under the gums and poked something. The truth is quite different. When bacteria gets under your gums it causes an inflammatory reaction that sends a bunch of white blood cells to the area to fight off the infection. This doesn’t work that well, however, so your gums get puffy, red, and bleed easily.
If you notice bleeding when you’re brushing your teeth it’s a sure sign that you should be making an appointment at our New Orleans office, but there’s still things you can do at home between now and then. First, don’t stop brushing. Use a gentle technique with your brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums to help clean around the gumline and fight bacteria.You should also start flossing if you aren’t already doing so.
Don’t Let Myths Cost You Your Smile!
The best way to take care of your teeth is with good preventive care, which includes knowing what to do at home as well as seeing us at 7 O’clock Dental twice a year.