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Woman getting smile checked

Basic Dental Care in Philadelphia

Woman getting smile checked

Practicing good basic dental care at home will help you maintain your good oral health. It will only take you a few minutes in the morning and the evening. The other important thing you can do is have regular dental checkups. We offer dental exams and great tips for taking care of your teeth at home. It’s possible to have a healthy smile for life if you:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss once a day
  • Have a dental checkup twice a year

Please contact us to arrange your dental exam today. Dentists can spot bad habits that can potentially hurt your oral health during exams. For example, you may not realize that you are grinding your teeth at night. Your dentist will notice the signs and get you a nightguard before you wear the enamel off your teeth or crack a filling or a tooth. Your dentist can also check your existing fillings to make sure they are intact and still protecting the tooth.

Brush Twice Daily

Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes. It will take this long to clean the front, back, and chewing surface of each tooth. Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle, starting at the gumline. This will sweep plaque away from your gums. Don’t skip a brushing. When plaque stays on your teeth too long, it creates an acid that will erode the enamel, the hard outer layer of your tooth, and lead to cavities.

Always use a soft toothbrush; the hard ones can damage your gums and tooth enamel. Try to find a toothbrush with bristles of varying height. These clean better. Replace your toothbrush every four months. They will fray and a toothbrush that frays isn’t effective. You can also brush your tongue with your toothbrush to remove bacteria in your mouth and freshen your breath.

Why Using a Fluoride Toothpaste Is Beneficial

Many studies have shown fluoride toothpaste, and fluoride in municipal water supplies, helps prevent cavities. The mineral strengthens tooth enamel, the outer layer of the tooth, and makes the tooth more resistant to decay. If you have any questions about the non-fluoride toothpastes on the market, please ask one of our dentists before you make the switch. After you brush with your fluoride toothpaste, just spit it out. Don’t rinse, as the fluoride will stay on your teeth and provide additional protection.

Floss Daily

If you floss daily, you’ll remove food debris and plaque from between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. Floss before you brush your teeth; this way you’ll get rid of the plaque and food particles when you spit out the toothpaste after brushing. If you have trouble using traditional waxed or unwaxed string floss, there are many other flossing options, like a water flosser, floss picks, or interdental brushes. Ask your dentist for suggestions.

Other Things You Can Do for Better Basic Dental Care

Mouthwashes have more benefits than just making your breath fresh. Fluoride mouthwashes can make your tooth enamel stronger. An antibacterial mouthwash can fight bacteria in your mouth. Ask your dentist for a suggestion or look for a mouthwash with the ADA Seal of Acceptance on the label. Remember, a mouthwash is no substitute for good oral care. It’s tempting to just swish some mouthwash around in your mouth if you’re running late in the morning, or you’re tired at night, but it isn’t enough.

Smoking is bad for your oral health. Smokers have a greater chance of developing oral cancer. Tobacco use also limits blood flow to the gums and makes gum disease more difficult to heal. Smokers also do not heal as quickly as non-smokers if they have a dental procedure. Ask one of our dentists about tips for quitting.

Eating a diet low in sugary foods and drinks will also help prevent cavities. Choose fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, like raw carrots, for snacks, as they will help keep your teeth clean. If you have a soft drink, cupcake, or anything else high in sugar, brush your teeth afterward. If you can’t brush, rinse your mouth with water or chew a piece of sugarless gum. Sugarless gum makes your mouth produce more saliva which helps wash food particles away. If you’re looking for a hot beverage, choose green or black tea without sugar. Tea contains an ingredient that can help prevent the bacteria in your mouth from creating enamel destroying acids.

What Basic Dental Care Do Dentists Provide?

At Gentle Dental of Pennsylvania, we offer:

  • Routine checkups
  • X-rays
  • Professional teeth cleanings
  • Oral cancer screenings

Your oral health is greatly influenced by how well you take care of your teeth at home. Nevertheless, dentists offer preventative care services, like teeth cleanings, to keep your mouth healthy. X-rays can detect cavities that are small and don’t hurt. Getting the cavity filled when its small can prevent you from needing a root canal when the cavity becomes large and reaches the pulp inside your tooth. Our dental hygienist can see how effective your dental care routine is and make sure your are not missing any areas of your mouth. Regular checkups can also catch any small problems before they become worse and require expensive, time-consuming treatment.

We also recommend you get a professional teeth cleaning every six months. It will brighten your smile, especially if you have stained teeth. The hygienist will use an abrasive toothpaste that is safe if it is only used every six months. Professional cleanings also remove plaque buildup which can lead to tooth decay. No matter how well you care for your teeth at home, they will never be cleaner than after a professional cleaning and flossing.

We also screen all our adult patients for oral cancer, regardless if they have any risk factors. You don’t have to smoke to get oral cancer. The recovery rate is very high if the cancer is caught early, but it drops dramatically if it isn’t detected early. Every day in the U.S., about 24 people die from oral cancer. Many of these deaths could have been prevented with early detection. The screening is not invasive and only takes a few minutes.

Book Your Dental Checkup Today

If you haven’t had a dental exam in the last six months, schedule yours today. You can phone us or use our easy online tool to arrange an appointment. We have a welcoming office with friendly staff members. Our fees are affordable as we encourage everyone to practice preventative care. We accept most of the major dental insurance plans as well. We look forward to helping you maintain your teeth and gums and a nice smile that will last as long as possible.

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