National Dentist's Day
March 6 is National Dentist’s Day – an opportunity to spotlight the importance of regular dental cleanings and checkups as well as the professionals who help patients through prevention. According to the CDC, nearly 32 percent of adults between the ages 20 and 44 have untreated cavities.
Dr. Christian Berdy of Berdy Dental Group joined the WJXT team to unpack why it’s crucial to be consistent with your oral hygiene, plus share a few quick tips on how to keep your dental health a priority. Continue reading to learn more, or view the full News4Jax segment here.
How to Maintain Good Dental Hygiene
Oral hygiene is not only ideal for promoting healthy gums and strong teeth, but it’s also important when considering the health of your whole body. In many ways, your dental health is a window to your overall health.
Several studies have shown a connection between gum disease and cardiovascular issues – including heart disease, stroke and more. While flossing may seem like a time-consuming extra step, keeping your gums healthy will not only keep your mouth healthy – it will also likely lead to better outcomes for your total wellbeing.
Plus, when you establish a dental routine and keep your teeth healthy, you also promote a strong immune system. Practicing regular dental hygiene helps limit the amount of plaque and bacteria buildup that could potentially lead to infection, thus allowing your immune system to defend your body from other potential illness or infection.
What is a Good Dental Routine?
A comprehensive dental plan doesn’t need to be more involved than just a few steps backed by simple guidelines. With this routine, you can promote your oral health without it feeling like a chore:
- Follow the “2x2” brushing rule
- You’ve probably heard this one before, but consistency is key - always brush your teeth for at least two minutes, twice per day. Brushing is especially important before bed to rid your mouth of the plaque that accumulates throughout the day.
- Make sure you are brushing correctly
- Move your toothbrush in gentle, circular motions – not up and down or too quickly. Brushing too hard can actually damage your gums and wear down your tooth enamel, so take your time and don’t overbrush.
- Don’t forget your tongue
- Be sure to gently brush your tongue to promote fresh breath and eliminate any extra bacteria, too. Tongue scrapers have become more mainstream, and they are made specifically for this purpose. Your tongue harbors a lot of bacteria that can then transfer to your clean teeth, so don’t skip this step.
- Floss daily – not just when you have something stuck between your teeth
- At Berdy Dental Group, we like to say you only need to floss the teeth you want to keep – so make this step a priority and your smile will shine. Plus, flossing before you brush can help dislodge any food from between your teeth to allow for a deeper clean when you go to brush.
- Consider using a WaterPik or rubber tip stimulator
- Both of these tools are easy to use and can get in the hard-to-reach areas that may be missed from brushing. A WaterPik delivers a stream of water to flush out any plaque buildup, and the rubber tip stimulator cleans along your gum line to gently remove any remnants of food, as well as plaque.
When Should I Visit the Dentist?
At our practice, we encourage our patients to visit once every six months for regular cleanings, but if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment sooner than later:
- Bleeding gums
- According to the CDC, nearly half of all American adults have periodontal disease. Gum soreness and bad breath are also signs of this condition, so it’s best to pay a visit to your dentist to determine the next steps.
- Even if it’s just mild discomfort, any bit of pain is reason enough to visit your dentist. Plus, when you catch the problem at its outset, we can often resolve the issue much easier, than once it’s later down the road.
- Sensitivity to hot or cold
- This sensation is common and can be caused by cavities, weakened tooth enamel and more – issues that can worsen over time if not addressed.
Above all, we want to remind people that although a trip to the dentist is daunting for many, we cannot stress enough how important dental health is. In our Jacksonville, FL practice, we have seen countless cases that could have been avoided with either prevention or regular trips to the dentist’s office – so don’t hesitate to give us a call if you sense any issues.