We use our teeth and mouths for many different purposes and it is important for us to keep them in good condition. Patients can avoid most dental problems by practising proper oral hygiene from a young age and taking preventive measures. Here are some of the most common dental diseases and how to prevent them.
Dental caries (decay)
Caries are areas of the tooth that are permanently damaged and may manifest as white spot lesions or develop into cavities in the tooth surface. They are formed by plaque which happens when bacteria, food and saliva coat the teeth. The acidic environment on the teeth will then begin to erode the enamel and dentine, leading to permanent damage to the teeth
Gingivitis, commonly known as gum disease, is the inflammation of the gums. It happens due to plaque build-up on the teeth because of poor dental hygiene habits. Gingivitis can cause gums to swell, and patients will encounter bleeding when they brush or floss. When gingivitis is left untreated, it can lead to periodontitis, a severe gum infection that is irreversible. This leads to shaky mobile teeth as they lose bone support and may require extractions.
How To Prevent Dental Diseases?
There are many ways in which you can prevent dental diseases through proper oral hygiene habits and treatments for your teeth. However, it is good to reinforce your dental health by seeking help from a professional. Here is how dental cleanings can help to prevent dental diseases.
Scaling and polishing
A professional cleaning will eliminate plaque and tartar you may have missed while brushing your teeth. Scaling removes hardened plaque, also known as calculus, which a home-use toothbrush is unable to remove. It is good to visit a professional dentist to have teeth cleaned at least twice a year. Your dentist will do a detailed examination and recommend the best treatment for you if you show any signs of gum disease or infections.
After a dental cleaning appointment, your dentist will apply fluoride to help fight cavities and strengthen your tooth’s enamel, making it more resilient to bacterial attacks. Fluoride is a natural mineral and is also present in toothpaste and mouth rinses. Using toothpaste with higher fluoride content will help to strengthen your dental health.
Oral hygiene instructions
Following scaling and polishing, your dentist will usually advise you on the best way to upkeep your oral hygiene. This includes the proper toothbrushing techniques and toothbrush to use. There are many types of toothbrushes in the market, including electric toothbrush, manual soft, medium, hard toothbrushes and your dentist will recommend the suitable ones based on your oral condition. Flossing methods which include the newer water floss techniques will be taught as well. Tooth moose might be recommended for high caries-risk patients.
If it has been a long time since you visited the dentist, head for an appointment soon to get a detailed dental examination and cleaning. At The Braces Practice, we have a team of friendly dentists who can advise you on dental habits and treatments if needed. We also provide dental braces treatment, such as self-ligating braces, Invisalign braces and ceramic and metal braces. Please schedule an appointment to visit us at our Bedok and Holland Village dental clinics to learn more!