A healthy mouth is a happy mouth. It’s also true that having an unhealthy mouth can leave you feeling sad.
Proper oral hygiene is possible with a united effort. You and our dental staff at Legacy Smiles in Billings work as a team to get your teeth and gums looking and feeling their best.
But just like any team, we can only achieve our goal if everyone does their part. That means making sure to take time to brush and floss your teeth every day and keeping regular appointments for professional exams and cleanings.
The problems with bad oral hygiene
You probably don’t like to think about the consequences of poor oral health, but preventive care is your defense against tooth decay, gum disease, and other problems.
When you do your part, our dental staff can more easily do its part to keep you happy and healthy.
In case you need some motivation to keeping brushing and flossing, keep in mind what could happen if you don’t.
• Plaque buildup — This is where oral health problems begin for many people. If you don’t care for your mouth correctly, plaque will continue to grow inside your mouth. Too much plaque can lead to tartar, and that is when bigger problems occur.
• Bad breath — If you worry constantly about bad breath, also known as halitosis, then you may not be doing enough to remove the bacteria (which causes plaque) from growing inside your mouth. If this is a persistent problem, mints and gum aren’t going to be enough to hide it.
• Tooth decay — That bacteria in your mouth can form the plaque we mentioned above. When left untreated, this can eat into the protective enamel that coats your teeth. That makes is more likely you will experience tooth decay or cavities.
• Gum disease — Are your gums sore? Are they swollen? Do they bleed easily? These are all signs that you have gum disease. When plaque and tartar remain inside your mouth, you open the door to infections in your gums. This may lead to gingivitis or periodontitis.
• Tooth loss — You don’t want this to happen, and we certainly don’t want it to happen to you. But if you don’t do what you should to clean your mouth clean and healthy, this is a risk you may be taking.
Your role: Brush and floss
Like we said, keeping your mouth healthy is a team effort. It starts at home with you.
The most important things you can do are brushing twice each day and flossing once per day. You must brush and floss daily because the bacteria that cause plaque live inside your mouth. That makes this a never-ending battle to keep your mouth healthy.
It’s also important to brush properly. If you are a parent, you probably know that your kids idea of “brushing” may not be what you had in mind.
First, you need to brush for two minutes each time you brush. You need to scrub your teeth on all sides and in every part of your mouth. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and an “ADA Accepted” toothpaste.
This is the first step in removing plaque from your teeth. Flossing is the next step.
Start with 18 inches of dental floss. Wrap the ends around your middle fingers and hold about an inch of floss between your pointer fingers and thumbs. Gently rub the floss between your teeth and gums to remove any plaque that you could not reach while brushing.
Brushing and flossing are essential for keeping a healthy mouth, but you should try to do some other things, too.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is good for your mouth and your body. That means you should not eat too much sugar, such as soft drinks, candy, and even some fruit juices.
Also, do not smoke or use other tobacco products. Tobacco can lead to yellow teeth and bad breath, and it increases your risk of oral cancer.
Our role: Keeping you healthy
Our dental team is here to take a close look at your mouth. By coming to our office for routine checkups, we can monitor your oral health and catch small problems before they become something serious.
When you visit our office we may take X-rays of your teeth. This provides a record we can use to look for changes in your teeth between visits.
We’ll look for signs of gum disease and tooth decay, and we’ll give you a thorough, professional cleaning to make sure your mouth is as healthy as possible.
The staff at Legacy Smiles wants to be part of the team that keep your smile looking great. Call 406-794-3114 to set up an appointment at our office located at 2700 Grand Avenue, Suite D, in Billings.