There are many threats to your good oral health. While threats such as sugar-laden colas are obvious, so-called fruit juices are often insidious sources of the sugar responsible for tooth decay.
These juices are cleverly marketed as healthy, when the truth couldn't be farther from the claims. Check the back of the box or container and you may be surprised to find less than 10 percent fruit juice.
Ultimately, sugars per se are not to blame for damaging decay. The sugars in drink and food are just one ingredient that combines to create a destructive recipe for plaque. Mouth bacteria represent another ingredient. It's estimated 500 to 650 different species of bacteria live on the teeth, tongue, and inside of the cheeks.
Another factor that allows plaque to form and flourish is inadequate brushing. To remove the sugars properly that bacteria feed on requires thorough brushing soon after eating and drinking.
Frequent snacking and sipping is a risk factor for tooth decay. If you snack and sip drinks through the day, the time spent sipping and snacking is not on your side. Your teeth are being bathed with acids produced by bacteria and sugars with no respite. If you must sip or snack, it's best to take a break and brush regularly, or at the very least rinse your mouth with water.
Other threats to the health of your teeth and gums include:
- Dry mouth
- Conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Clenching, grinding, and other tooth-damaging conditions
While there may be many factors seemingly working against you and your good oral health, there are a number of factors on your side. The first step toward maintaining or restoring oral health is partnering with Richmond Smile Center, a practice that promotes comprehensive care dentistry, which takes into account both preventive dentistry and complex care dentistry.
Your child's first dental visit should happen by the time the first candle is blown out on his or her birthday cake (or after a tooth erupts). From then on, it's recommended that check-ups occur every six months; however, Dr. Charles Martin will recommend professional examinations and cleanings at intervals specific to you, your oral health status, and your history.
The preventive model of dentistry costs less, requires less time, and results in less trauma than the complex dentistry approach. Complex care focuses on restoring your mouth to health. Dentistry built on a foundation of check-ups at intervals as prescribed by Dr. Martin ideally helps to avoid the costly and extensive procedures associated with complex care, which may include working with you to develop more effective oral hygiene techniques and preventive procedures such as sealants and custom night guards (for bruxists).
With your dentist in Richmond, such preventive care is accompanied with expertise in complex dentistry, a comprehensive model of care that accounts for life and health changes. This approach ensures optimal treatment is designed with you in mind, through every life stage.
Last Updated - February 2016
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