Taking care of your teeth with both at-home and professional care is essential to maintaining not only your smile, but your overall wellness. A healthy smile can reduce the risk of a long list of potential systemic health conditions. Dr. Jeffrey Cummings and our team want to partner with you to help keep your teeth beautiful and healthy. We invite you to schedule yourpreventive dentistry appointment at our Waltham, MA, dental office. Contact us today.
The basic formula for effective teeth brushing involves using the right toothbrush, a fluoridated toothpaste, and brushing for the proper amount of time. Dr. Cummings recommends an electric toothbrush, because studies show that patients brush longer when using electric instead of manual toothbrushes. Most patients should use a soft-bristled toothbrush, but the hygienist or Dr. Cummings can make a specific recommendation based on an evaluation of your smile. Find a brush that feels comfortable in your hand and in your mouth. Replace your brush every few months and after illnesses.
Good oral care can reduce the risk of a long list of potential systemic health conditions.
Dr. Cummings suggests a fluoridated, ADA-approved toothpaste for adults, along with a cavity-fighting mouthwash. He also recommends using a tongue scraper after you brush. Brush your teeth twice a day (morning and night) for two minutes at each session. If you are prone to decay, or if you wear braces, brush after lunch, as well. Brushing not only removes food particles and freshens breath, it also removes plaque before it hardens into tartar. Plaque and tartar are naturally occurring bacterial substances that can cause bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease.
There are many styles and flavors of dental floss. Traditional waxed floss is round or flat, while dental tape is flat and wide. Flavors range from fruity to minty. The kind of floss you use does not matter near as much as how often and effectively you floss. Everyone should floss at least once a day, before bed. Floss removes food, plaque, and even some tartar from between teeth, where a toothbrush cannot clean. If you floss daily, you can prevent the formation of cavities and the development of gum disease.
Checkups & Cleanings
In addition to practicing daily oral health care at home, you should visit the dentist for a checkup every six months. Dr. Cummings will evaluate your teeth, gums, jaw joints, head, and neck. He will check for signs of gum disease, gum recession, enamel erosion, oral cancer, tooth wear, decay, cracks, chips, and crazing (tiny web-like cracking). We will administer x-rays so the doctor can examine all structures of your smile, including those the naked eye alone cannot see. In many cases, we use an intraoral camera, which transmits up-close images of your teeth and gums to a chairside monitor, allowing Dr. Cummings to fully explain the state of your smile. Based on this thorough evaluation, he can recommend any necessary treatments.
The hygienist can perform your cleaning following your dental checkup. She will clean plaque and tartar from your teeth, measure your gum pocket depth, and recommend tips for your home care routine. If she sees indications of gum disease, she may recommend a deep cleaning.
For those who have not seen the dentist in over six months, as well as those who have signs of gum disease, a deep cleaning may be required. Deep cleaning involves scaling and root planing, and it can take multiple visits to complete the treatment.
Schedule Your Checkup and Cleaning
Proper at-home care combined with regular dental checkups and cleanings can help you experience better oral and overall health. If you have not visited your dentist in Waltham in the past six months, contact us now to schedule a preventive dental visit. Our compassionate team of dental professionals will teach you how to effectively brush and floss, with hands-on demonstrations. We can also recommend the best homecare products for your unique dental health needs. We are here to help keep your smile looking and feeling excellent.