As a family dentist in Powell, Dr. Williams wants every patient to enjoy a healthy, great looking smile for a lifetime. While it’s easy to think of our oral health as only having to do with our teeth and gums, doctors today understand better than ever just how closely linked our oral health is to our overall health.
Studies have found that individuals experiencing tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss have a significantly higher risk for developing a range of chronic health conditions that range from heart disease and diabetes to dementia and cancer. As researchers continue to study what links theses seemingly disparate parts of the body, one thing has become perfectly clear – Our oral health matters.
Fortunately, you can significantly lower your risk for the type of dental decay and disease that increases your risk for developing the types of systemic diseases that can significantly impact your overall health. By taking just three steps, you can dramatically improve your oral health now and into the future.
Step 1.) Brush Twice a Day
Brushing works to remove plaque – a sticky biofilm comprised of harmful oral bacteria and food particles that linger in the mouth after eating – away from the surface of our teeth and along the gum line. When allowed to build up, plaque hardens into tartar, a yellowish substance that stains our teeth and cause gum tissue to become inflamed, swollen, and to bleed easily. Tartar buildup will eventually lead to the development of gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease.
Our mouths feature a lot of crevices that require taking enough time to properly clean. That’s why the American Dental Association recommends spending at least two minutes brushing, once in the morning and again at night before bed. Despite this recommendation, a study conducted by the ADA found that average adult in the U.S. only spends one-minute total brushing each day. That’s just a quarter of the amount of time recommended by the ADA.
Imagine the results you’d get if you only spent one-minute shaving, brushing your hair, applying makeup, or showering. To get your teeth to the level of clean needed to prevent tooth decay and gum disease, you need to spend enough time to adequately clean all of the quadrants of the mouth.
Failing to properly brush significantly increases your risk for tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss.
Step 2.) Floss Daily
Flossing works to remove plaque and food deposits from areas of the mouth a toothbrush cannot reach, between the teeth and below the gum line. Despite the important role flossing plays in helping to maintain our oral health, an ADA study found that only 49 percent of adults in the U.S. floss daily, with 10 percent not flossing at all.
If you’re one of the millions of Americans that don’t consider flossing a good use of your time, consider that approximately 33 percent of surface area of your teeth and gums can only be cleaned while flossing. If still not convinced of the important role flossing plays at helping to protect your oral health, consider this – The most common place for cavities to form in the mouth is actually between our teeth.
The ADA recommends flossing at least once day, ideally at night before brushing. By spending at little as 30 seconds flossing, you can significantly reduce your risk for dental decay and disease. When combined with brushing, these two habits form the most successful strategy for protecting your oral health at home.
Of course, preventative dental care requires one more step.
Step 3.) Regularly Visit Your Family Dentist in Powell
Receiving frequent dental care also has a place when it comes to protecting your long-term oral health. During dental exams, Dr. Williams has the opportunity to assess the current state of your oral health, including conducting a comprehensive oral cancer screening.
When oral health problems like tooth decay, gingivitis, and even TMJ are caught early on, Dr. Williams has a much better chance of providing patients the type of treatment needed to completely restore their smiles back to health. The longer it takes for Dr. Williams to diagnose an oral health problem, the more expensive and difficult it becomes to treat.
Your oral health matters. Don’t take any unnecessary risk with the health of your smile. Contact our office today to schedule your next dental exam with your family dentist in Powell, Dr. Williams.