Take care of your mouth because oral health is key to a great smile and strong overall health. In Joliet, IL, your dentists, Dr. Lanette Disera and Dr. Christine Dunham, help their patients develop proper oral hygiene routines to keep smiles bright.
Brush, floss, eat
You do them every single day. But, make sure you do them well. Here's how:
- Brush with fluoride toothpaste two times a day to remove plaque and bacteria. Both cause tooth decay and gum disease and its resultant tooth loss.
- Floss before bedtime. Clean each tooth slowly, carefully and gently.
- Eat healthy. That means lower carbs, more fiber, and low-fat dairy and protein.
- Don't use cigarettes or smokeless tobacco. They encourage plaque and tartar, give you bad breath, increase decay, and periodontal disease and set the stage for oral cancer.
- Drink water and chew sugarless gum to avoid dry mouth and to increase saliva and its antimicrobial effects.
- Watch your alcohol intake. Wine, whiskey, and beer are sugary, and they dry out your soft oral tissues, states the American Dental Association (ADA).
- Never ignore dental pain or any changes you see or feel in and around your mouth. Report these things to your dentist right away.
Also, here's something you may not think of. If you, or your child, play sports of any kind, invest in an athletic mouth guard, and wear it. This acrylic device will protect your smile from injury and the pressures of teeth clenching.
See your dentist twice a year
In their Joliet dental practice, Dr. Disera and Dr. Dunham see their patients routinely every six months. This check-up includes X-ray imaging as needed and also:
- A check for signs of gum disease, decay, worn restorations, and tooth enamel
- Oral cancer screening (it takes just a few minutes and is very comfortable)
- Jaw joint and dental bite assessment
- Suggestions on how to improve your oral care at home, what restorations you may need and the cosmetic changes which could benefit your smile
Your hygienist will scale your teeth to remove plaque and tartar you cannot reach with your toothbrush and floss. She applies a low-abrasion toothpaste with a rotary brush and polishes all tooth surfaces.
A word on gum disease
That word is inflammation. If your gums are red and puffy due to plaque and tartar build-up, you have gum disease. Left untreated, the inflammation associated with gum disease causes tooth loss, bone degradation, and problems with your overall health--most notably, heart disease and type-2 diabetes. So, stay with your discipline oral hygiene routine, and enjoy vibrant health.
Dr. Disera, Dr. Dunham, and their professional team see the benefits of careful oral hygiene practices. To learn more, call their Joliet, IL, office, or ask your questions at your next routine check-up. Phone us at (815) 744-4333.