Everyone should be aware of the utter importance of taking care of your teeth and gums, but not everyone is completely aware of all of the different ways in which they must go about this. For one thing, many people focus on their teeth, alone, when they brush and floss. This is an inherently flawed approach to oral hygiene, as your gums, tongue, and other tissues in your mouth are just as important to keep clean. As a matter of fact, the consequences of neglecting your gums are, if anything, even worse than tooth decay. In any case, though, the best way to prevent both types of oral health condition, besides maintaining good oral hygiene, is to keep up with regular dental care dentist appointments.
During routine dental care appointments, your family dentist takes care of a few different aspects of your oral health. The appointment usually begins with a heavy cleaning. This is important because your dentist can get your teeth and gums a bit cleaner than you probably can, on your own. Of course, in addition to cleaning your teeth and gums, your dentist is also on the lookout for any changes or signs of medical problems, in your mouth. The reason you must go to your family dentist twice a year is because more than six months would be dangerously long, if you did have a severe oral health problem. By never waiting more than six months between family dentist appointments, on average, you are far less likely to develop an oral condition that is too severe to treat. As with most kinds of medical problems, dealing with them sooner makes them far less likely to pose a serious threat to your well-being.
The two biggest threats to oral health are periodontal disease and tooth decay, also referred to as cavities. While cavities are incredibly frustrating to deal with, they are actually much easier to treat than periodontal disease. Likely the biggest reason why this is the case is the fact that teeth are isolated, so their infections do not spread to the others as easily. Gums are basically a mass of tissue, so an infection can spread through them quite easily and quickly. Fortunately, periodontal disease has more identifiable symptoms, that you should be able to notice, yourself. So, if you have red, puffy, or bleeding gums, you need to make an appointment, regardless of how recent your last one was.
Though you may not think of it, your teeth’s alignment plays a large role in your oral health, too. This is because plaque accumulates most in crevices and other places that are difficult for the bristles of your toothbrush to reach. Also, the bigger the crevices between your teeth, the larger the pieces of plaque that can get caught there. While cosmetic dentistry is something that many people only look into, for cosmetic reasons, you may also benefit, medically, from scheduling an appointment with a good cosmetic dentist. He or she can help determine if your alignment is affecting your oral health.