Great smiles don’t just happen.
Even if you were one of the fortunate people who naturally have straight teeth and a winning smile, there are many ways you can lose it. Cavities and gum disease can cause unsightly tooth loss. Injuries and accidents can cause teeth to break, chip, crack, and fall out, too.
It’s the reason you need to develop a good and consistent oral care routine. That should include professional dental cleanings and exams, which we are happy to provide at our dental offices in Fort Myers and Naples, FL.
At the office of George A. Hoop, DDS, we are proud to offer comprehensive dental services. But we also know that practicing preventive care is the best approach for your oral health today and for many tomorrows to come.
If you have not yet scheduled your next dental visit, call us today at 239-734-7737. We hope to see you soon.
Good Oral Health Starts at Home
Developing good oral hygiene is a key component of dental health.
The best thing you can do is to follow the American Dental Association’s recommendation for daily care:
- Brush your teeth twice daily
- Floss between your teeth and gums every day
To get a little more specific, the ADA recommends using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a squeeze (about the size of a pea) of toothpaste with fluoride. When your brush, clean your teeth on all sides. You should scrub for about two minutes each time.
If brushing manually is difficult for you, an electric toothbrush can be an excellent tool for cleaning well but not too hard.
Flossing is equally important because it’s how you clean the spaces that your toothbrush can’t. We are using flossing to refer to any techniques for removing plaque and food particles from between teeth and below the gumline.
Dental floss is the most common tool for this. You can use any kind that you like — flavored or not, thin, think, or in between. The important thing is that you use it regularly.
If you have difficulty using dental floss, you do have other options. Flossers are one of those options. They have short handles with a strand of floss on one end. Many people find these more comfortable to use.
Another great option is a water flosser. These use a stream of water to clean those harder to reach places in your mouth. Water flossers come in a variety of price ranges, so you can find one that will fit your budget.
Go to the Pros
No matter how well you think you brush and floss, you are human. Few if any people do this tasks perfectly every time. That is why plaque and tartar buildup can form. These create opportunities for bacteria to eat away at your teeth or irritate your gums.
Removing that plaque and tartar can go a long way toward preventing tooth decay and periodontal infections before they start.
For most people, getting a professional cleaning a couple times a year can go a long way toward stopping decay and gum infections. Likewise, this also makes it more likely that we will find a problem in the early stages. This way we have a chance to treat it before it turns into something more serious. Plus, early treatment is more effective, less invasive, and less expensive as well.
If you have a history of chronic problems (such as periodontal disease), it may be necessary to get checkups more often. Again, this is to help you maintain your oral health and to avoid major issues down the road.
As a quick aside, if you have dental insurance, many plans cover the cost of one or two dental cleanings each year. (Check your plan for details.) You still have time to use those benefits before the end of 2018.
While we can treat a tooth infection with a root canal treatment, we would prefer to help you avoid one whenever possible.
Be a Little Extra
Brushing, flossing, and getting professional cleanings are the basics of good oral hygiene. If you do them consistently, you are much less likely to develop oral health problems.
But you also can go beyond the basics to reduce your risks of damaged teeth even more. Two great services to consider are dental sealants and fluoride treatments.
Think of sealants as a coat of armor for your teeth. When sealants are applied to your teeth, they form a protective layer that helps to stop bacteria from attacking your enamel. Many parents get these for their children as a kind of second layer of defense for those times when kids might eat too many sweet or may not brush as well as they should. Sealants can be similarly effective for adults, so please keep that in mind.
Fluoride is a mineral that can do two important things. First, it can repair damage to your teeth due to decay or, to be more technical, demineralization. As a mineral, fluoride can replace the mineral that was lost in the decay process to help repair teeth before a cavity forms. Second, fluoride also makes teeth stronger, which can help them resist decay in the future.
Another Way to Protect Your Teeth
Bacteria aren’t the only threat to your smile. Accidents and injuries can cause breaks, cracks, and lost teeth.
You can’t anticipate every instance when an accident might occur, but you can be prepared for situations when injuries are more likely. For the same reason you wear a seat belt when you get in a car or truck, you also should wear a properly fitted athletic mouthguard when you play or practice most sports.
Falls, physical contact, and flying objects all have the potential to damage your teeth. Statistically, wearing a mouthguard makes you 60 times less likely to suffer a dental injury.
Stop Problems & Keep Your Healthy Teeth
You want your mouth to be as healthy as possible. To do that, we encourage you to visit either of Dr. Hoop’s office locations in Fort Myers or Naples, FL.