LOVE Dental Care

What is the value you place on you smile? Some say that a smile can light up the room and it is the first thing that many people notice about another person. Have you ever noticed that when someone smiles, those around them smile back? Smiles are contagious. It is often said that laughter is the best medicine; but have you noticed that laughter always requires a smile?

Love your smile! Don’t let a beautiful smile go to waste. Take care of your teeth by maintaining proper oral care including brushing with fluoridated toothpastes that have the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Not all toothpastes are fluoridated. Fluoride adds an extra layer of protection against the development of cavities by increasing the tooth enamel’s resistance to acid attacks responsible for decay. Use soft bristled toothbrushes to reduce damage to gum tissues and tooth enamel. Harder bristled toothbrushes can damage teeth and cause gingival recession. Electric toothbrushes can be of added value for those individuals who have dexterity issues.

Change your toothbrush frequently. A toothbrush should be changed out at least every quarter and/or if the bristles start becoming frayed. Don’t rush the brush! You should spend at least two to three minutes when brushing and at a minimum brush twice a day. Remember, tooth decay and damage is often painless until it becomes a major problem. That’s why it’s important to see the dentist every six months.

Despite recent claims, flossing is still important to proper oral health care. Toothbrushes are just not able to get the spaces in-between teeth clean.

That said, crooked and crowded teeth are more difficult to keep clean. Consequently, orthodontics to straighten crowded teeth can help with creating a healthier smile. However, proper oral home care by orthodontic patients, including regular brushing and flossing, is vitally important. Poor oral home care, by anyone, can lead to gingivitis, decalcification, and decay.

Brackets made of stainless steel or ceramics do not cause tooth decay. And just because you have crowns, bridges, and/or veneers does not mean that you need to brush your teeth less. In fact, keeping your smile clean and healthy is just as or more important than someone who does not have those restorations. The margins/edges where the crown and/or veneer meets the tooth need to be kept clean to avoid cavities developing underneath the restoration, where it can be more difficult for the dentist to diagnosis decay.

So Love and take care of your smile this February.

Dr. Brad Edgren is an international author and lecturer on orthodontics. He is a board certified Orthodontist and maintains his practice in Greeley.