In the coming weeks, we hope you have a safe and happy holiday season. Christmas is coming, and the New Year will be here before you know it.
As you take stock of the year that was and you start planning your New Year’s resolutions, our team at Fairhope Cosmetic Dentistry has a few suggestions. We want our patients in Fairhope, Spanish Fort, or anywhere else in or near Baldwin County to keep their oral health in mind.
General dentistry may not seem as exciting as resolving to run a marathon, but keeping all your teeth is goal you should have every year.
Resolution No. 1 – Brush and floss every day
We know not everyone has been doing this, but it is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your oral health. Both of these activities should be part of your daily oral hygiene routine.
When you brush, remember to use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Gently scrub your teeth on all sides for at least two minutes, and remember to brush twice per day.
You also need to floss your teeth once per day. If you can’t or won’t use dental floss, we encourage you to use a different kind of interdental device. If you have questions about alternatives to dental floss, give us a call.
The bacteria that causes plaque lives inside your mouth. Brushing your teeth can remove much of that bacteria, but even the fanciest toothbrush can’t get between your teeth and under your gumline between your teeth and gums. Dental floss or another interdental device is what helps you get the bacteria and plaque out of those harder to reach places.
Resolution No. 2 – Visit Fairhope Cosmetic Dentistry for routine cleanings
Again with the general dentistry? Yep. When you come to the dentist, it shouldn’t just be about teeth whitening or because of a dental emergency.
When you come for routine cleanings and exams, you are doing what you need to prevent a bigger problem from occurring. As part of our general dentistry, we give you a professional cleaning to remove any plaque or tartar that may have built up, even if you do brush and floss like you should.
We will also look at your gums to identify early signs of gum disease. If we find something, this means you have a better chance of treating and reversing it. X-rays help us monitor any changes in your teeth, and fluoride treatments help your teeth stay healthy for as long as possible.
While no one likes to think about this, but we conduct an oral cancer screening, too. Our hope is that we won’t find anything, but we also know that early detection leads to more successful treatment.
Resolution No. 3 – Stop using tobacco
By now, everyone knows that tobacco is bad for your health. People who smoke are more likely to have advanced gum disease, and they are more likely to have recurring gum disease than non-smokers.
Tobacco raises your risk for oral cancer and tooth decay. It can make dental implants less effective. It also increases the likelihood that you may need oral surgery, and it can make your recovery from that surgery more difficult.
While this is a relatively minor issue, tobacco will also stain your teeth, and teeth whitening can only do so much.
Resolution No. 4 – Address your dental fear
You may not realize it but between 5 and 8 percent of the American population avoids going to the dentist because of fear or anxiety, and 20 percent of the population — that’s 1 out of every 5 people — experiences some level of dental anxiety, according to this article by Richard Sine.
We understand that some patients have to work up their courage to receive general dentistry services. We want to help, which is why we offer two forms of dental sedation in our office.
The first is nitrous oxide sedation. You may know this better as laughing gas. When you receive nitrous oxide, you breathe in the gas, and it helps you feel more relaxed throughout your treatment.
This is a fast-acting treatment, but it also wears off quickly when your procedure is finished.
The second type is oral conscious sedation. Before your treatment, you will take a pill to help you feel less anxious. This is a more powerful form of sedation, and the effects will last for hours after your procedure is finished.
If you receive oral conscious sedation, you must arrange for someone you know to take you home when you are finished.
With both types of sedation, you will feel calm and comfortable during your dental care. Many patients don’t have any memory of their treatment, but they do receive the benefits of a routine cleanings and other dental service.
Save your smile
If you haven’t already scheduled your next dental appointment, please call Fairhope Cosmetic Dentistry at 251-210-7142 or fill out our online form.
If you are new to our area, haven’t been to the dentist in years, or you are looking for a new dentist, please make an appointment and bring this form with you.
We want you to keep you smiling throughout 2016 and beyond. Your smiles make us happy, and keeping your mouths healthy is why we do what we do.