5 Things Every Patient Should Know About Their Oral Health

seaside family dentistry

One of the most important jobs Dr. Santos has is to create relationships with his patients and to help educate them each time they visit our Seaside family dentistry. Oral health myths that circulate on social media can cause lasting damage to a patient’s oral health. Bad oral hygiene habits get passed down from generation to generation, making it difficult for families to break unhealthy habits.

To provide our patients with the best information, Dr. Santos seeks to dispel these common misconceptions so that each visit to our Seaside family dentistry ends with a happy and healthy smile. Let’s look at a few things Dr. Santos tells his patients so they can enjoy the healthy and attractive smile they desire.

The Mouth is Part of the Body

This may seem incredibly obvious, but it’s something that patients overlook all the time. If a patient knew they had an increased risk for heart disease, they would likely take steps to reduce their risk of a heart attack. Unfortunately, many patients don’t apply this same logic to preventing gum disease.

Not brushing frequently enough or failing to floss increases your risk of gum disease, which places your body at a higher risk for developing a range of chronic health problems that include heart disease, diabetes, dementia, and stroke. Not taking the health of your mouth as seriously as the heart, brain, or liver can have a cascading effect that leaves you less healthy and at risk of developing a life-threatening condition.

Brushing Harder Doesn’t Mean Better

Brushing your teeth with the same force and vigor as scrubbing your kitchen counter doesn’t make your teeth cleaner. It can weaken tooth enamel, making your teeth and gums less healthy and resilient over the long term.

Your gum tissue and the supporting bone structure act as the foundation of your oral health. Scrubbing hard with your toothbrush causes a breakdown of tooth enamel and an erosion of gum tissue. When your gum tissue becomes inflamed, it begins to pull away from the base of your teeth, creating small pockets along the gum line.

Harmful oral bacteria enter these pockets and begin to attack the delicate roots of your teeth. If left untreated, permanent bone and tooth loss can occur.

Tooth Loss isn’t Inevitable

Many patients erroneously believe that tooth loss is a natural part of the aging process. But growing old doesn’t mean having to say goodbye to enjoying quality oral health. Your teeth can last a lifetime if you give them the care and attention they deserve.

Tooth loss occurs as a result of gum disease and dental decay. By committing to brushing and flossing daily, eating a balanced diet low on artificial sugars, and scheduling regular exams at our Seaside family dentistry, you can maintain the health of your smile well into your Golden Years.

Brushing and Flossing is All About Technique

Just as brushing your teeth too hard can cause oral health problems to develop, not brushing and flossing correctly can also hurt your oral health.

Proper brushing occurs when the toothbrush’s bristles face up into the area where your teeth and gums meet at a 45-degree angle. This allows the toothbrush to remove plaque and food debris from the gum line. You should move the toothbrush in a circular motion along your teeth, not in a back and forth direction. Remember to systematically clean all the different areas of your mouth, working from side to side, top and bottom.

When flossing, create a C shape with the floss that hugs the tooth and then move it from side to side. Don’t worry if you notice some bleeding when flossing. That means you haven’t been flossing enough. The bleeding should stop after a few weeks.

Baby Teeth Matter

Many parents overlook the importance of their child’s baby teeth. It’s easy to ignore the health of your baby teeth because they are meant to fall out eventually. However, baby teeth are essential in a child’s mouth.

Baby teeth act like space holders, guiding adult teeth when they begin to form. When baby teeth fall out too early, adult teeth can form crooked, crowded, or misaligned. This can lead to a child developing problems eating and talking as they grow older.