Important Facts About Your Oral Health
Gum disease that is detected in its beginning stage (gingivitis), is treatable. However, gingivitis that is left untreated may turn into gum disease. Gum disease is also called periodontal disease. The buildup of plaque and bacteria causes it. Tobacco use, teeth grinding (bruxism), specific medications, and genetics are other causes of periodontal disease. Advanced gum disease is a permanent condition that will result in tooth and bone loss.
The following are common signs of gum disease:
- Loose teeth or tooth loss
- Extreme tooth sensitivity
- Gum recession
- Abscessed teeth
- Gums that are red, irritated, bleeding or swollen
- Chronic bad breath
Brushing twice daily will eventually cause wear and tear, making your toothbrush less effective. Children and adults should change their toothbrush every three months. Note, if your toothbrush is electric, refer to its directions as you may not be required to change electric toothbrush heads as frequently. Also, if you have gum disease, you should change your toothbrush every four to six weeks to prevent bacteria from spreading. If you have recently been sick, replace your toothbrush as soon as possible.
- Brush your teeth twice daily
- Floss daily
- Use a fluoride toothpaste
- Limit your intake of sugary foods
- Brush your tongue daily to remove food particles and reduce bacteria
According to the Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (CAPD), children should visit their dentist for the first as early as six months and no later than age one. Your dentist will examine the health of your child’s first few teeth. Regular checkups should be scheduled every six months following their initial visit.
Yes, it is even more critical for patients with braces to visit their dentist regularly. If you have braces, food particles can become lodged in places that your toothbrush cannot reach. This leads to bacteria buildup and can cause cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work with you closely to ensure your teeth stay clean and healthy during orthodontic treatment.