What do I need to know about my oral health?
When it’s time for your regular dental checkup, there are many important questions and concerns to discuss with your dentist. However, many people find it’s easy to forget their questions, whether it’s due to a fear of the dentist, long waiting room lines, or even embarrassment. No matter what the reason, it’s critical that you ask questions in order to ensure that your oral health care routine is up-to-date, and you are taking care of you and your family’s teeth. In this blog post, we are addressing some of the most commonly asked questions to dental professionals. However, this is not an exhaustive list and if you have additional questions, or want more information on a question answered below, contact your dentist to discuss your concerns.
How can I improve my oral health at home?
When considering your oral health care routine, it’s important to start with a solid foundation. This includes regular brushing, flossing and rinsing between meals or as frequently as possible. Many people brush in the morning and in the evening before bed, but it is a good habit to also brush after eating sugary or sticky foods. Another essential element of any oral health care routine is changing your toothbrush frequently. In fact, most dentists recommend changing your toothbrush every 3-4 months, including changing the brush heads on electric toothbrushes. Consider creating a reminder in your electronic or paper calendar to replace the entire family’s toothbrushes on this dentist-recommended schedule. Oral health and your overall health and wellbeing are intimately linked, meaning that a balanced diet can also help keep your teeth strong and healthy. Eating well-balanced meals and snacking on healthy, tooth-protecting snacks like apples, pears, carrots, celery and dairy products can all help clean and fortify teeth. Staying hydrated can also improve oral health, especially if you drink tap water frequently, which is fortified with fluoride to strengthen teeth.
What causes tooth sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity is a common problem that affects most adults. However, many people aren’t aware of the causes of tooth sensitivity and the best way to treat sensitive areas. Receding gums, damaged enamel, cavities, cracked teeth and broken fillings can all contribute to tooth sensitivity. Many of these teeth problems are related to brushing habits and diet, making prevention one of the best ways to avoid tooth sensitivity. Most dentists recommend switching to a soft toothbrush, brushing with less pressure (but still frequently and thoroughly), and using a toothpaste that treats sensitivity. If you find that you are experiencing sensitivity, these changes may help improve your discomfort. However, if these changes aren’t enough, your dentist may be able to recommend more permanent treatments for sensitivity such as a surgical gum graft or root canal depending on the causes of your pain. It is important to talk to your dentist about sensitivity as soon as it emerges so they can help you prevent further damage and monitor the discomfort at your checkup appointments.
What are warning signs of gum disease?
Many dentists notice that patients have heard of gum disease, but don’t always understand what the warning signs look like and what the actual disease entails. For most people, a common warning sign is persistent bad breath, the result of red, swollen or tender gums, excessive bleeding when brushing and flossing, spontaneous bleeding or bleeding when eating, or any pus that is visible in gums or between teeth. Other warning signs that you may be developing gum disease is loose or separating teeth or significant changes in your bite pattern or tooth alignment. If you suspect you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to visit your dentist and discuss your treatment options and preventative care.
How do I care for my baby’s teeth, and when should they go to the dentist for the first time?
For new parents, it can sometimes be overwhelming to consider your baby’s oral and health care routines. Many parents aren’t sure when oral health care should begin for infants, especially as teeth start to emerge and people begin to consider brushing practices. The good news is that most oral health care doesn’t begin until your baby has produced several teeth, and then checkups should be continued every six months thereafter. It is also important to keep gums clean during the teething process and introduce tooth brushing with a soft bristle brush early, in order to encourage healthy habits. Finally, limiting time with the bottle and ensuring children aren’t left with a bottle at bedtime can help improve oral health and reduce jaw issues later in life.
How can I improve my smile?
Another common question that dentists get asked is how a patient can improve their smile. For many people, improving their smile can help boost their confidence and contribute to their overall oral health by making brushing and flossing easier. At Mackenzie Dental Centre, we offer a range of cosmetic dental procedures that can help improve your smile. This includes crowns and implants that can replace lost teeth and veneers which can brighten and improve the structure of your smile. We also offer more comprehensive services such as Invisalign or traditional braces, which can straighten teeth and improve jaw issues.
When it comes to your oral health, it’s important to address your specific concerns with your dentist. As health care professionals who care about the wellbeing of their patients, dentists are always there to provide thoughtful solutions to your questions and concerns. As soon as you notice any of the symptoms related to gum disease or sensitivity, you should see your dentist to discuss next steps. Of course, the best way to ensure you are receiving consistent and effective oral health care is to visit your dentist regularly. At Mackenzie Dental Centre in Vaughn, our friendly and experienced team can help provide you with any service related to family and cosmetic dentistry. If you are concerned about your oral health, or are looking to improve your smile, contact our team at 905-417-8700 to book an appointment.