Five Unexpected Dental Tips from Your Dentist

Five Unexpected Dental Tips from Your Dentist

Good dental health is not just important to your appearance but is crucial to maintaining good health. In fact, the Mayo Clinic calls your oral health “a window to your overall health.” Among other conditions, poor oral health has been linked to heart disease, premature births and low birth weight births, and infections of the lining surrounding the heart.

At Your Dental Health Partners, our dentists are committed to giving you the information and support you need to keep your teeth healthy. We like to think that we’re the first line of defense against issues that can affect your oral health.

It can sometimes be difficult to know just what you should be doing to maintain and improve your oral health. We understand that there is a lot of misinformation out there, so we’d like to offer these five “unexpected” dental care tips.

Dental tips that you may not know

1. Your smile doesn’t have to be perfect.

Hollywood and the advent of a myriad of new cosmetic dental options have increased the emphasis on having the “perfect” smile. We’re here to tell you that a healthy smile doesn’t have to be perfect. Yes, your teeth should be aligned properly to maximize your ability to chew and to prevent headaches, but small “flaws” like gaps between teeth, slight discoloring and/or uneven or asymmetrical teeth can actually add to your unique charm. Not everyone needs “movie star” teeth.

That’s not to say we aren’t happy to help you with a genuine cosmetic dental issue, such as a missing tooth or a chipped or blackened tooth. We just don’t like to see our patients putting so much emphasis on looking perfect. We like you the way you are.

2. Home dental treatments are the most important.

The best thing you can do to keep your mouth healthy and clean is to be vigilant about brushing and flossing. We only see you twice a year. That’s only two days out of 365 days. That means the “heavy lifting” falls on you, the patient.

At Your Dental Health Partners, our job is to make sure that you don’t have the beginnings of any tooth decay or disease and to give your teeth a professional cleaning. We like nothing better than to tell you that your mouth is healthy and you don’t need any fillings. How do you get that “clean report”? For best results, we recommend brushing for two minutes twice a day and flossing well at least once a day.

3. Properly aligned teeth are better than straight teeth.

While straight, “movie star” teeth may look pretty, from our viewpoint, it’s much more important that your teeth are properly aligned and that your bite fits well. Misaligned teeth are not only uncomfortable but can lead to a slew of dental and health problems, such as difficulty eating, frequent headaches, chewing on your lips or cheek and overcrowding. That means that patients with relatively straight teeth could benefit greatly from orthodontics, while we may tell those with slightly crooked teeth that their well-aligned bite, needs no orthodontic intervention.

4. Your dentist has to poke your gums… but we’ll be gentle.

We’re sorry, but poking around your gums is an essential part of a good oral exam. We know it can be uncomfortable, but it’s the only way we can tell if you have the beginnings of gum disease, a condition that affected as many as half of the U.S. population aged 30 and older.

Gum disease (aka gingivitis or periodontal disease), left untreated, can lead to tooth loss and an increase of bacteria in your overall system. It’s not something we take lightly. Of course, poking around your gums also allows us to treat any gum disease we may find. When we catch it early, we can take measures to heal your gums and often allow you to keep your teeth intact.

5. Your teeth can be TOO white.

Is there such a thing as teeth that are too white? Yes, according to our dental team. In fact, sometimes commercial whitening products can actually do more harm than good. While an occasional whitening treatment is fine, regular treatments can eat away at your tooth enamel, breaking down your teeth and making them more susceptible to infection and decay. Frequent dental whitening treatments can also make your teeth much more sensitive to hot and cold, potentially causing you to have to miss out on some of your favorite foods. If you’re uncertain about how much is too often, talk with us at your next appointment.

Keeping your mouth clean and healthy doesn’t have to be an impossible task. To learn more about how to keep your smile bright and your mouth healthy, contact Your Dental Health Partners.

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