Regular dental cleanings and checkups are very important to your overall health for many reasons. Here are just a few of the biggest reasons:
1. Early detection of oral cancer. More than 8,000 Americans die every year from oral cancer and 30,000 new cases are reported. The 5 year survival rate is only about 50% and early detection is crucial for increasing the survivability of oral cancer. Your dentist will perform a thorough examination for signs and symptoms of oral cancer during your dental checkup.
2. Prevention of gingivitis and gum disease. Gingivitis and gum disease are caused by the bacteria in the plaque and tartar that build up on teeth. Regular dental cleanings can reduce the incidence of gingivitis and gum disease and any gingivitis and gum disease that forms can be caught early while it is easily treatable.
3. Prevention of tooth loss. Nearly 20% of all Americans over the age of 65 have lost all of their natural teeth. Tooth loss in older Americans has been linked to reduced overall health and causes bone loss in the jaw bone. Routine dental cleanings and dental care help preserve your natural teeth.
4. To maintain good oral health. Regular cleanings and checkups reduce the incidence of tooth decay and gum disease. Gum disease has been linked to increased risk of diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
5. Regular dental cleanings and checkups help maintain a bright, confident smile and helps to prevent bad breath.
Routine dental cleanings and exams are an important part of any good oral health care program. Brush twice daily, floss daily, and see your dentist twice a year for routine cleanings and checkups.
Approximately 30 percent of older Americans have no natural teeth left. If you want to be part of the other 70 percent, you need to take care of your teeth before it is too late. Regular dental cleanings and dental check ups will go a long way toward maintaining your oral health, but there are some habits to avoid if you want to keep your teeth in the best possible condition as you get older.
1. Chewing on ice seems like a harmless habit, but in fact it is an easy way to chip or crack your teeth.
2. If you engage in any type of contact sport such as hockey, football, or lacross, protect your teeth with a mouth guard to avoid having a tooth chipped or knocked out.
3. Giving your baby a bottle of juice or milk at bedtime or naptime can result in tooth decay. Falling asleep with a bottle in their mouth results in the teeth being bathed in sugars for hours.
4. Drinking too much sugary soda contributes to tooth decay and the acid in soda eats away at tooth enamel.
5. Diet sodas are slightly better than regular soda because they lack the sugar, but they may have higher levels of acid.
6. Similarly, sports drinks and fruit juices are loaded with sugar that attach the teeth.
7. Too much coffee drinking can result in yellow stains on your teeth.
8. Red wine can also discolor your teeth and has acids that eats away at the enamel.
9. White wine is better, but not much. White wine doesn’t stain teeth like red wine, but it contains acids that weaken the enamel and leave it susceptible to staining from other drinks like red wine or coffee.
10. Smoking not only stains your teeth, but it greatly increases your risk for developing gum disease. Smoking also causes oral cancers.
Millions of Americans are missing one or more teeth. The Center For Disease Control reports that one out of four adults over the age of 60 have no natural teeth remaining. While there are various alternatives to replace missing teeth including dental implants, dentures, and bridges, the better alternative is to take good care of your teeth so that you can have your natural teeth as long as possible.
It is common to have congenitally absent teeth. In most cases there will be a baby tooth, but not adult tooth to replace it when the baby tooth falls out. In some cases, the baby tooth will not fall out and will function like an adult tooth long into adulthood. In these cases, it is usually not harmful to leave the baby tooth in place until fails due to dental disease or some other cause.
Teeth are commonly knocked out due to trauma such as an accident. In some instances a knocked out tooth can be successfully reimplanted by a dentist, but only if the patient seeks immediate attention from their dentist. Tooth trauma can also result in a cracked or broken tooth that cannot be repaired.
Gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss. Gum disease is essentially a bacterial infection of the gums that leads to bone loss. As the bone supporting the teeth decays, the teeth become loose and fall out.
Tooth loss due to gum disease can be prevented by following good oral health habits. Brushing the teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing regularly, and visiting your dentist twice a year for dental cleaning and a dental check-up will help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
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