Why is tooth brushing so important?
In the mouth bacteria create a sticky film called plaque which sticks to the surfaces of your teeth. This plaque contains the bacteria themselves as well as the harmful chemicals they produce. These chemicals cause dental decay and gum disease. The only effective way to remove plaque is mechanically break up this dental plaque. The combined action of toothbrush bristles and toothpaste is an effective method of removing this harmful buildup from your teeth. Teeth should be brushed twice a day.
Why is flossing so important?
There are surfaces of your teeth that cannot be reached by your tooth brush bristles. Dental floss is an effective tool for getting to these surfaces to remove the harmful plaque deposits and food debris that buildup in these areas.
How does tooth decay occur?
Some of the bacteria in the mouth process the sugars we eat to produce acids that eat away at the tooth structure. This acid attack occurs 20-30 minutes after eating or drinking. Over time the damage can be so extensive that a cavity is created. The bacteria invade into the space and continue to attack the remaining tooth structure. In this way the cavity can grow and grow if left untreated.
How can I prevent and treat tooth decay?
To prevent tooth decay it is important to:
limit the amount of bacteria on your teeth
reduce or eliminate the substances that they use to produce the acids.
Effective technique in brushing and flossing will remove the bacteria and the plaque they produce.
Limiting the amount of sugar in your diet and reducing the frequency that you eat these sugars will reduce the amount of acid that these bacteria can produce.
Once a cavity is present it must be removed by your dentist and the missing tooth structure replaced by a restorative material.
How does gum disease occur?
Some of the bacteria in the mouth process the foods we eat to produce other types of chemicals. These chemicals cause harmful changes in the soft and hard tissues that hold the teeth in place. These changes include inflammation, bleeding, and infection. If left untreated these changes can progress to include bone loss around the teeth and the formation of deep pockets in the soft tissues. The combined effect is a loss of attachment, increased mobility and the eventual loss of the teeth if the disease is left untreated.
How can I prevent and treat gum disease?
Gum disease is prevented by effective technique in brushing and flossing to remove harmful plaque from tooth surfaces. Gum disease is treated when your dental professional uses additional tools to remove all infected substances from around the teeth.
This reduces and eliminates the inflammation in the tissues. Your effective home care to remove the continual buildup of plaque and bacteria is essential for preventing the progression of this disease.