Monday, March 7, 2016

5 Steps for Preventing Periodontal Disease

Unlike other oral conditions, gum disease can affect any patient at any age. With few symptoms exhibited during the early stages, many patients are unaware that they are experiencing periodontal disease until the disease has already progressed past a point where it is reversible. While extremely common, gum disease is easily prevented with just a few simple, proactive steps. These include:

Brush Correctly
Developing an effective hygiene routine goes beyond just brushing and flossing in the morning and before bed. Often, patients forget or put off brushing and flossing or don’t do it correctly, thereby putting themselves at risk of developing gum disease in the future. For complete efficiency, begin brushing and flossing after each meal. Rather than just running your toothbrush over the teeth, hold your brush at a 45-degree angle and use circular motions to clean the teeth. If possible, invest in an electric toothbrush- these are specifically designed to efficiently remove plaque and bacteria.

Floss Thoroughly
Similar to effective brushing, individuals should also try flossing after each meal to remove left over food debris trapped between the teeth. To properly floss, wrap the floss around the index and middle fingers, leaving about two inches between the hands. Slide the floss between the teeth and create a “c” shape with the floss around the tooth, sliding the floss around the base of the tooth and below the gum line. Repeat this process in every gap, including the molars at the end of the arch.

Clean Between the Gums
Bacteria, plaque, and tartar can become trapped in the minute space between the teeth and gums and begin to accumulate, increasing the risk of future gum issues.  After brushing and flossing, use a rubber-tipped gum stimulator to gently clean the space between the teeth and gums. Follow this process by rinsing with mouthwash. Gum stimulators can be purchased at your local drug store.

Know Your Risks
Certain conditions such as diabetes and habits such as smoking can increase an individual’s risk of developing gum disease. As a result, sticking to a healthy diet and taking steps to stop smoking are important steps that help protect the overall health of your smile. For more information about quitting tobacco or managing diabetes, contact your general physician.

Visit the Dentist Twice a Year
Regular visits to the dentist’s office twice a year are a critical part of preventing gum disease from damaging your smile. In addition to providing our San Jose dentist with the opportunity to monitor your dentition for changes in tooth or gum health, routine cleanings performed during this appointment allow our team to remove plaque and tartar accumulation as well as develop an at-home prevention plan.

Schedule Your Next Visit Today

Willow Glen Dentistry is committed to providing patients with the tools and knowledge needed to maintain a lasting healthy smile. For more information about at-home oral hygiene and gum disease prevention, contact Dr. John Pisacane at Willow Glen Dentistry today to schedule your next dental appointment. 

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