Pearls of Wisdom for Your Teeth
By Noel Daniel
Taking care of your teeth is more important than you might think. A beautiful smile is great in pictures—but it turns out, it’s also great for your overall health.
“You should have good oral hygiene due to the fact that you want a nice smile,” said Savannah Goodner, DA at Salida Surgery. “Bad hygiene could also affect other areas of your body, not just your mouth.”
We reached out to local dental professionals to assemble three tips for keeping your smile a happy one.
1. Watch that Acid
Bacteria and gingivitis have been the bogeymen of children since the very beginning—but there are hundreds of different types of bacteria in your mouth.
“These bacteria will eat the food particles that are leftover in your mouth and are big fans of things like carbs and sugars,” said Amanda Farley, DDS. “They create acids and toxins that sit on and in between your teeth and in the gums as well. These acids will breakdown the minerals in your teeth and structurally undermine them to the point where a hole gives way. This is how a cavity forms.”
The same types of acids irritate and inflame the gums, essentially burning them away. This is known as gingivitis, which is a precursor for periodontal disease. If you think that sounds scary, unchecked gingivitis can lead to bone loss so extreme that you start losing teeth. That’s why dental professionals advise everyone to brush twice a day, use a fluoride toothpaste, and—of course—floss once a day.
“If you’re unable to brush after a meal, then drink or rinse with water,” said Amanda Garcia, RDA at Salida Surgery. “Chewing sugar free gum also helps to get hidden bits out of your teeth.”
“Try not to consume a ton of sugary drinks or candy,” Goodner added. “Stick to water and milks.”
2. The Basics of Fluoride
What does it do? Is it important to have in your toothpaste? It turns out—yes, it definitely is.
“Fluoride can help battle against the acid that threatens your teeth,” said Dr. Farley. “It helps to rebuild the minerals that are lost because of the acid on a chemical level. When used appropriately, it can actually make your teeth stronger than they were before.”
3. Maintenance is Key
And, last but not least, see your dentist routinely! You have minerals in your saliva that will collect on your teeth that need to be cleaned off every six months. Our Salida Surgery respondents all agree, including Garcia, Goodner, and Vanessa Ramirez! If these minerals—also known as “tartar”—are allowed to sit on your teeth, it can act as a protective shelter for the bacteria to hide inside.
“If you only go to the dentist when it hurts, it usually results in infection, major reconstructive surgery, and sometimes tooth loss,” Dr. Farley warns.
So don’t be afraid to talk with your dentist. Ask them questions, get good tips, and check up on your choppers!
Amanda Farley, DDS
1213 Coffee Rd., Ste. C,
Salida Surgery Center
5712 Pirrone Rd., Salida