Do you clench or grind your teeth? It is especially important to wear a night guard if you know, or have been told by your dentist, that you clench or grind your teeth. Evidence of clenching and grinding can show up on the teeth as wear spots or flattening of the tooth surfaces. Symptoms of jaw or tooth pain can also be associated with clenching and grinding. Wearing a night guard protects your teeth from excess forces to keep them healthy.
Brushing and flossing is, of course, an essential part of keeping your mouth healthy between dental visits. Brushing and flossing help to manually remove bacteria from the teeth and gums that leads to cavities and gum disease. It is recommended to brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. If brushing and flossing are not done regularly, bacteria will accumulate and cause cavities and gum disease.
Fluoride is an essential component in keeping teeth healthy. Fluoride helps to prevent and reduce the growth of cavities by strengthening the enamel, the outer layer of tooth structure. Fluoride is added into toothpaste, some mouth rinses and city water. If you have a history of cavities, add an extra dose of fluoride into your day with a fluoridated mouth rinse. Remember, don’t rinse, eat or drink for 30 minutes after fluoride. Xylitol is a great addition/alternative to fluoride. Xylitol is a sugar substitute that actually reduces the number of cavities causing oral bacteria.
Ingested sugar is a feast for cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth. When you consume sugar, oral bacteria eats it and produces acid that can cause cavities. Therefore, the more sugar consumed the more risk of cavities. The types of sugars that are particularly cavity causing are anything that is gummy, sticky and chewy and gets stuck in the biting surfaces of the teeth. Reducing sugar and eating a well-balanced diet keeps teeth and gums healthy.
If you find you have a dry mouth, make sure to use a salivary substitute. Dry mouth can be caused by a variety of factors such as medical conditions and medications. Saliva helps to cleanse the teeth and remove food particles and plaque so that a dry mouth can be a risk for cavities. Salivary substitutes promote salivary flow and can be used in gum, toothpaste and mouth rinse form.
If you have any concerns with your mouth, teeth or gums between dental visits, make sure to book an appointment. Pain, sensitivity and bleeding should be addressed ASAP. If you have any questions about keeping your mouth healthy between dental visits, we encourage you to contact us to schedule an appointment.