June is National Smile Month: Show Off Those White Teeth
Taking good care of your teeth should be a year-round endeavor but the month of June reminds us to be extra diligent in our quest for a great smile. While National Smile Month is the UK’s largest and longest-running oral health campaign, there’s no reason we can’t take some tips here in the United States on how to achieve excellent oral health. With summer comes an abundance of seasonal fruits and vegetables that can make it easier — and sweeter — to eat healthy. And after all, healthy eating is the first step to a bright smile.
Healthy Diet: Healthy Teeth
The best way to fight tooth decay and gum problems remains regular brushing and flossing. However, it’s important to augment that daily practice with a balanced diet that gives you adequate nutrition and promotes healthy teeth through vitamins C and D, calcium and many others, says WebMD.
Cutting back on snacking throughout the day will prevent exposure of your teeth to cavity-promoting foods that can eat away at your enamel. That’s because when you keep a healthy flow of saliva going, it works to cleanse the mouth and teeth throughout the day. You may know enough to avoid sugary and sticky foods such as gummy candies, taffy and soda, but you may not be aware of some foods that are surprisingly bad for your teeth, such as fish crackers, chips, dried fruits, and raisins.
Regular Dental Visits
Doing your part to floss and brush every day is certainly a big piece of the oral hygiene puzzle, but visiting the dentist once every six months is vital too. Despite regular brushing and flossing at home, it’s inevitable that you’ll experience buildup of tartar and plaque. Tartar, a sticky bacteria that forms on your teeth between brushings, is very difficult to remove. Plus, it looks bad and can lead to gum disease.
Tartar builds up when bacterial plaques in the mouth come into contact with calcium deposits from your saliva. Your dentist has to scrape this off with a special tool. If you let this task go, that bacteria will eat away at your gums and eventually attack the root of your tooth. Not only could you face having a tooth pulled, you could also be at risk for infection and even cardiovascular disease.
Your dentist doesn’t just clean your teeth, though. Those visits allow your dentist to evaluate your mouth, gums and jaw while on the lookout for signs of something more serious, such as:
- Gum disease
- Loose or broken teeth
- Inflamed tissue/changes in gums
- Tooth decay
- Healthy tongue and bite
- Damaged fillings
- Secure fit with dental appliances
- Contact between individual teeth
X-rays taken regularly will ensure your teeth, mouth and jaw are all looking good. Skipping these visits means problems can be taking place beneath the gum line that you’re unaware of, leading to unnecessary procedures and costs down the line.
Keeping up with your oral health is imperative. Dr. Gary C. Demetriou and his staff make you feel comfortable and right at home within our conveniently-located North Andover office. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!