After your routine dental exam appointment, it may feel like you’ve been sent home with a long list of homework. It may feel overwhelming at times, and cause you to doubt if you’re actually doing anything right in regard to the proper care of your teeth. Most likely all of that nagging by your hygienist is just to ensure you’re going above and beyond what you need to keep your smile at its healthiest. If you’re still in doubt, here are some of the most important steps to take, to ensure that you’re actually caring for your teeth as best as possible:
It’s no secret: you are what you eat (and drink). Choosing healthy foods and drinking plenty of water throughout the day keeps bacteria levels low in the mouth, decreasing tooth decay and gum disease. Frequent drinks throughout the day like milk, juice, diet soda or sports drinks can accelerate tooth decay.
Clean In-between Every Day
That’s right…every single day. Brushing never cleans between your teeth, and this is the area where most people begin to develop decay and gum disease. Imagine only brushing half of your teeth for an entire week. That’s what you’re doing if you’re not cleaning in between. If flossing is difficult or cumbersome, consider using a water flosser.
Watch Your Gums
If your gums are healthy, they won’t bleed when you brush or floss. Angle your toothbrush toward the gums to gently remove plaque bacteria just under the gumline. For better results, use a high quality electric toothbrush.
See Your Dentist Regularly
Routine preventive care appointments help keep oral health in check. Diagnosing dental needs at the earliest stages will keep your treatments less invasive and more affordable.
Posted on the behalf of Sarah Roberts
Mouth sores can be caused from many different things. Often, these sores are a result of inadvertently biting your cheek or tongue or having a minor infection that will resolve on its own.
Other times, though, mouth sores are not quite as simple. Mouth sores can be caused from infections, viruses, or irritation. Only a comprehensive exam and diagnosis by your dentist can determine the cause of your mouth sores.
The two most common causes of mouth sores include canker and cold sores. The exact cause of canker sores is unknown, while cold sores are a virus that is part of the herpes simplex family. Canker sores usually resolve on their own within one to two weeks, but can become so severe that it is difficult to eat or drink. If you develop a canker sore that is accompanied by a fever, or if you have problems swallowing, you should be immediately seen by your dentist.
Cold sores are blisters that form in the mouth as a result of exposure from the herpes simplex virus. These blisters (sometimes called fever blisters or fever sores) respond well to medication. Almost all adults have had at least one cold sore in their lifetime. Your dentist can prescribe medications to help prevent and speed the healing process of cold sores.
While waiting for your appointment, you should limit irritating foods. Many people find that acidic foods are very irritating when you have a mouth sore. You can also rinse with a mild antiseptic solution to help relieve pain.
Mouth sores that last more than a week should be evaluated by your dentist. If you have a mouth sore that has been lingering, you should make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible.
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