Gum Disease and Tooth Loss is Preventable!
Posted on: Wednesday, June 28th, 2017
This is a very important lesson we try to teach all our patients: It’s within your power to prevent gum disease and tooth loss. More than 170 million Americans have lost at least one tooth and more than 35 million have no teeth left at all. It’s too bad that more people don’t know how to prevent this loss.
Prevention starts young. You can help your children keep all their teeth healthy by avoiding sugary snacks and teaching them to brush and floss their teeth daily. Many parents don’t realize that as soon as their children’s teeth begin to touch each other (between two and three years of age), they should be taught to floss. A child might not have the dexterity to floss on their own until they get older but they can get used to you doing it for them. Flossing daily significantly reduces the the chances of developing gum disease.
Brushing Long Enough – But Not Too Hard!
We’ve found that many people don’t know they should be brushing their teeth for two full minutes, twice a day. In fact, the average time most people spend brushing their teeth is only 45 seconds. Some new toothbrushes have timers to let you know when you have reached two minutes.
This doesn’t mean you should be brushing hard for two full minutes. Your brushing should be fairly gentle so you don’t damage your gums or teeth. If you have any questions about proper brushing, just ask us the next time you are in and we will be glad to demonstrate the right technique for you.
Are Your Gums Bleeding?
Some patients have told us that they were flossing but then their gums were bleeding so they stopped. They thought they might be hurting their gums by flossing. In fact, the truth was most likely exactly the opposite! Bleeding indicates inflammation – flossing reduces plaque which leads to less inflammation.
Flossing not only removes food particles trapped between teeth, it removes daily deposits of plaque before they can harden into calculus (also called tartar).
Daily brushing and flossing and visiting your dentist regularly forms the foundation for preserving your teeth for your lifetime By also following your dentist’s recommendation for preventative care, you will be in pretty good shape to retain that beautiful smile. If you are in the Fishers, Indiana area, please contact us for an appointment so we can help you get set up with the perfect maintenance schedule to protect your teeth. Call us at (317) 596-8000 and let us help.
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- Dianne B.