Do you like having teeth?
Assuming you said yes, then we are also going to assume that you would like to keep them for as long as possible.
Yet, 92 percent of Americans adults age 20 to 64 have had at least one cavity, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Experts also estimate that 26 percent of adults (roughly 1 in 4 people) have an untreated cavity.
The dentists at Antoine Dental Center in Houston don’t want any of our patients to have cavities. While our dental team is ready to help with any dental problem that might arise, we know that preventive care is the best way to keep your teeth healthy and intact.
With that in mind, here are four things you can do to keep your teeth for the rest of your life.
Your oral health starts at home. The American Dental Association recommends that you should do two things every day to protect your teeth.
First, you need to brush twice per day for two minutes each time. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, squeeze out a blob of fluoride toothpaste about the size of a pea. (You don’t need as much as the toothpaste commercials might lead you to believe.)
Scrub your teeth on all sides to remove as many bacteria as possible. Then, finish by brushing your tongue.
Second, you should floss every day. No matter how well you brush, there are some places that your toothbrush can’t reach. Dental floss can remove bacteria and plaque from between your teeth and from between your teeth and gums.
Break off about 18 inches of floss. Wrap the ends around your middle finger. Hold the floss between your index fingers and thumbs. Hug the floss between your teeth, under your gumline, and around the far side of the teeth in the back of your mouth.
In general, it’s a good idea to visit Antoine Dental Center twice a year for routine cleanings and examinations. (Patients with chronic dental problems may need to visit more frequently.) During your visits, we will do a few things.
Our team will take digital X-rays of your teeth. By using digital X-rays, we can see them practically instantaneously. By comparing your X-rays to those from previous visits, we can monitor any changes in your teeth, including the development of cavities that may not be visible to the naked eye.
One of our team members will clean your teeth thoroughly. We will remove any tartar, plaque or bacteria that may have built up on your teeth.
We also will watch for signs of tooth decay and gum disease. The earlier we spot a problem, the easier it is to treat.
Your molars (the bigger, flatter teeth in the back of your mouth) are more prone to cavities than your other teeth.
If you’ve ever looked at those teeth, then you know they have grooves on the top. Bacteria can sometimes hide in these places, which is why you can develop cavities even if you brush regularly.
Sealants create another layer of protection for your molars. Sealants cover the grooves on your molars. Placing sealants on your back teeth is a low cost but effective way to help keep your molars healthy for years at a time.
We often recommend sealants for children, but adults can benefit from sealants, too. If you drink a lot of carbonated soft drinks or other acidic beverages, sealants are a simple treatment that can help protect your teeth from decay.
Another way to help your teeth is with fluoride treatments. We can provide this treatment when you come to our office for your routine cleanings.
During your treatment, we will apply a concentrated fluoride solution to your teeth. You may have noticed that we recommend using a fluoride toothpaste for your daily oral hygiene, too.
Fluoride is a mineral that helps to prevent tooth decay and strengthens your teeth. Fluoride helps to harden the enamel (the protective layer on the outside of your teeth), and it can repair teeth that are in the early stages of tooth decay.
Take Pride In Your Smile
A beautiful smile has a full set of healthy teeth. You can keep you mouth as healthy as possible by brushing, flossing, and visiting our dentist office in Houston regularly.
We also can help your preventive efforts with sealants and fluoride treatments.
If you haven’t already scheduled your next appointment at Antoine Dental Center, fill out our online form or call 713-364-8990.