6 Highly-Effective Ways to Keep Your Gums Healthy

One of the best ways to maintain an attractive smile is to keep your gums healthy. You can easily keep your gums healthy by adding preventive dentistry in Beaumont, TX to your healthcare routine. Talk with your dentist about what preventive dentistry can do for you. But first, let’s talk about the different things you can do to keep your gums healthy.

Six Ways to Keep Your Gums Healthy

Here are six ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy for years to come.

1. Floss and Brush Twice Daily

Floss your teeth at least once a day and brush your teeth two times each day using a soft-bristle toothbrush. Additionally, you should replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if needed.

2. Brush Your Teeth Properly

Gently press your toothbrush on your teeth. Then brush your teeth by using short vertical strokes on each tooth. Brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle to your gums. Ask your dentist in Beaumont, TX to demonstrate the best way to brush your teeth properly.

3. Choose the Right Toothpaste

It’s best to choose a toothpaste that has fluoride and the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval.

4. Use the Right Type and Size of Toothbrush

Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles. Your toothbrush should also have a small brush head design so you can get to those hard-to-reach places.

5. Use Therapeutic Mouthwash

There are two types of mouthwash which are therapeutic and cosmetic. Therapeutic mouthwash will help keep your teeth and gums healthy, reduce the speed of tartar build-up, reduce plaque, and remove food particles from your mouth. But remember…using mouthwash isn’t a replacement for brushing and flossing.

Just like your toothpaste, your mouthwash should also carry the ADA seal of approval. Additionally, the ADA doesn’t recommend using mouthwash for children under six years of age.

6. Get Regular Dental Cleanings

Have your dentist clean your teeth every six months. Your dentist will remove plaque and tartar build-up from your teeth to help keep your gums healthy.

What’s Next?

If you need a dentist in Beaumont, TX, please Contact Southern Oaks Dental Care today. We offer a variety of preventive dentistry treatments designed to keep your gums healthy so you can have a beautiful smile for years to come.

Why Does Food Keep Getting Stuck in Between My Teeth?

While it’s fun to eat a juicy steak, slice of pizza, or a favorite snack or dessert, it’s not fun to have these and other foods getting stuck in between your teeth. Annoying to be sure, it could also be caused by certain dental problems that may only get worse if left untreated. If you are experiencing problems with food getting stuck in between your teeth, here are some common reasons for this problem.

Teeth Alignment

If your teeth are not properly aligned, this can be one of the main reasons for food always winding up in the wrong places. In most cases, spaces between teeth are due to how your teeth grew in naturally, although spacing can also result from a chipped tooth, filling that’s coming loose, or other reasons. To correct this problem, braces can be the solution, as can having old fillings replaced. Talk to your dentist in Beaumont, TX for options.

Cavities

Should you notice that you are always getting food stuck in a certain area of your mouth while eating, chances are you may have a cavity that’s the culprit. Notorious spots for food to become stuck, a cavity is the perfect spot for food particles to remain even after brushing. When this occurs, bacteria gets to work on making your cavity worse, which could result in extensive tooth decay if not corrected by your dentist.

Gum Disease

As stated earlier, always getting food stuck in between your teeth could be a sign of a more serious issue. In this case, that means gum disease. If you have had problems with sensitive or bleeding gums but have ignored the problem, what started as gingivitis may have progressed to periodontal disease. When this happens, your gums have started to recede from your teeth, possibly creating what are known as “tooth pockets” that are perfect places for food to get stuck. Unfortunately, these are also perfect places for bacteria to grow. If left unchecked, you may find yourself having fewer teeth where food can become stuck, since this often leads to tooth decay and extractions.

Rather than just view food getting stuck in your teeth as a minor annoyance, schedule a visit with your dentist in Beaumont, TX so that your mouth can be examined for signs of problems that could be more serious.

How Excess Drinking Affects Oral Health

Excessive alcohol consumption has serious harmful consequences for your oral health. If you have an issue with excessive drinking, you will likely also develop oral health issues. Alcohol can have adverse effects on your teeth, gums, and tongue. Be sure to consult with your Beaumont, TX dentist for help with any of the conditions noted below.

Dryness

Heavy alcohol consumption causes a decrease in saliva production, which limits the ability to clean the mouth with its antibacterial properties. Saliva helps in washing away any sugar, bacteria, or plaque, which helps keep the mouth healthy. Consuming alcohol excessively causes the mouth to dry, making it a fertile ground for the bacteria to thrive while increasing the chances of an infection.

Dental Erosion

Heavy alcohol consumers tend to have increased teeth degradation. The continued use of alcohol over a prolonged duration causes the oral cavity and the teeth to be acidic. This causes the surface of the enamel to dissolve, which increases the vulnerability of the teeth to damage from actions such as clenching and brushing.

Gum Disease (Periodontitis)

Excessive consumption of alcohol is linked to gum disease, also known as periodontitis. This disease is caused by the growth of bacteria in the mouth, which feed on the sugars from the consumed alcohol. The bacteria causes irritation, bad breath, swelling and bleeding. In its advanced stages, periodontitis can result in tooth loss and loose gum tissue. Heavy drinking is also known to influence the microbiome of the mouth, which could lead to gingivitis. Alcohol causes reduced salivary excretion, increasing the risk of getting gingival disease and dental caries.

Tongue Inflammation (Glossitis)

Heavy drinking is associated with inflammation of the tongue and gingiva or inflammation of the mouth corner, also referred to as angular cheilitis. The initial signs of this condition are characterized by a tongue that is smooth and painful. In its advanced stages, the tongue develops a burning sensation leading it to develop a deep red coloring. As the condition progresses, you will also experience painful cracks at the mouth’s corners.

In order to take care of your dental hygiene, it is essential to reduce alcohol intake and maintain proper dental care. Contact your dentist in Beaumont, TX for more information about your oral health.

Why Chewing Sugar-Free Gum is a Great Idea

Sugar-free gum comes in many amazing flavors these days, ranging from basic mint to apple pie. And while it might feel like a sweet treat, it’s actually an excellent dental care tool. Just pop a piece in your mouth and chew for about 20 minutes after every meal to enjoy all the following benefits.

Increase Saliva Production

As you chew each piece of gum, the delicious flavors make you salivate as does the movement of your jaw. The increased flow of saliva then helps wash away food debris before cavity-causing bacteria can chow down. The saliva also helps neutralize acid from the bacteria and can even strengthen enamel by providing a boost of calcium and phosphate.

Reduce Formation of Cavities

When adorned by the ADA Seal, sugar-free gum only features tooth-friendly sweeteners, like xylitol, sorbitol, and aspartame. So, as you chew, the bacteria on your teeth go without their extra dose of sugar, keeping them from growing and thriving.

Then, as saliva production increases while you chew, your risk of cavities decreases considerably. When paired with regular brushing and flossing, chewing sugar-free gum can help reduce your visits to the dentist in Beaumont, Texas, to cleaning appointments only.

Skip the Sugary Snacks

With so many fun flavors of sugar-free gum available, like chocolate mint ice cream, lemon squares, and golden apple, you can always satisfy your cravings in an instant. Then, you can skip the sugar in favor of something a little healthier for your teeth without feeling deprived. Your reward is stronger, healthier teeth – and a confidence-boosting smile – plus all the great flavors in each piece of gum.

Without excess sugar causing cavities on the regular, you can stick to scheduling your routine tooth cleanings in Beaumont, Texas. You’ll likely just need to come in every six months or so to have your teeth checked out and cleaned up to maintain your gorgeous smile.

If you’re ready to make your appointment, give our team at Southern Oaks Dental Care a call today. We’re always available at 409-835-6257 to help you find a convenient time to come into our clinic.

 

5 Tooth Brushing Tips for Your Little One

Very young children don’t know how to brush their teeth and must be taught how. As a parent, it’s your job to help your child with this task. There are many things you can do to help your child learn to brush and take care of their teeth. Here’s what we suggest for parents of toddlers and early grade school ages.

1. Teach Them to Brush

When children are just toddlers, they are not capable of brushing their teeth well on their own. They don’t have hand-eye coordination, nor do they understand how important it is to reach all their teeth. At this point, you should be doing most of the brushing.

When your child gets older, around five or six years old, you should be teaching them to brush by modeling good brushing, and then letting them do it on their own.

2. Use a Soft-Bristled Brush

Children don’t need medium or hard-bristled brushes. Use a toothbrush designed for their age group. Make sure the bristles are soft.

3. Set a Time Limit

Time your child while they’re brushing their teeth. Ideally, they’ll be brushing their teeth for two minutes, but if your child is very young, they may not be able to tolerate an activity of this nature that is two minutes long. You may be able to keep them engaged by showing them a short entertaining video on your phone.

4. Use Fluoride Toothpaste – Know How Much

Fluoride toothpaste is recommended for children of all ages, but using the correct amount of toothpaste is important. If your child is under three years old, use a small smear of toothpaste. If your child is between the ages of 3 and 6, use a pea-sized amount. Supervise your child while they brush their teeth to ensure they don’t swallow the toothpaste.

5. Consult With Your Child’s Dentist

Your child’s dentist can help your child learn how to brush their teeth. Consult with your child’s dentist during their next appointment. Your child’s dentist can show your child how to brush their teeth appropriately. To make an appointment for an examination and tooth cleaning, call Southern Oaks Dental Care.

Why Does My Child Get So Many Cavities?

Every year, you bring your child to the dentist to get their checkup, and sometimes it can seem like every year, your child has new cavities that need to be filled. Why is your child getting so many cavities? We get this question a lot at Southern Oaks Dental Care from worried parents, and we are always here to help. We’ve pulled together some of the most common reasons a child can have ongoing issues with dental caries.

1. Children are not vigilant about at-home oral hygiene.

Children may appear to be brushing, but a child’s effort to brush and floss can be far less in-depth than an adult who understands the importance of dental hygiene. In addition, children are more likely to skip brushing and flossing if parents are not watching or supervising the task. For younger kids, it is always best to supervise brushing and help them with flossing. For older children, check in with them daily to make sure they are actually brushing and flossing. Even teens can need a gentle reminder to brush and floss.

2. Children don’t always follow the best nutrition plan.

Poor nutrition can be directly related to excess problems with decay. Therefore, if you have a picky eater that is not eating a lot of vitamins and minerals, their teeth can be more prone to decay. Plus, children are more likely to reach for candy, gum, and sugary drinks that can be hard on the teeth. If your child does have ongoing issues with decay, examine what foods they are consuming, supplement where they are lacking, and try to swap out sugary choices for healthier options.

3. Children can have issues with cavities due to a lack of fluoride.

Lack of fluoride can also mean heightened problems with decay because fluoride helps strengthen teeth enamel. Take a look at your child’s main water supply and make sure it is fluoridated. Talk to the dentist about fluoride treatments as well.

Get Advice from a Pediatric Dentist in Beaumont, TX

Ongoing problems with cavities during childhood is an issue parents should closely monitor. If your child seems to be more prone to decay than most, be sure to work closely with a pediatric dentist in Beaumont, TX to develop a good care plan. If you are looking for a dentist that treats children, reach out to us at Southern Oaks Dental Care to schedule an appointment.

What Kind of Toothbrush is Best?

If you want to keep your gums and teeth healthy as well as the rest of your body, brush your teeth at least once or twice per day. In addition to giving you a great smile and healthy gums, you’ll also be lessening the risk of developing other more serious conditions such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease. But as the first step toward great oral hygiene, you’ve got to select the proper toothbrush. If you’re wondering how to do so, here are some tips to keep in mind.

 

Electric or Manual?

For many people, the first decision for choosing a toothbrush is whether to use an electric or manual type. Though electric toothbrushes are more expensive than manual ones, they have the advantage of giving you far more strokes per minute. On average, an electric toothbrush can produce up to 10,000 strokes per minute, while a manual toothbrush can produce up to 3,000 strokes per minute.

 

Bristle Selection

Before ever putting a toothbrush in your mouth, give some serious thought to what types of bristles you prefer. Whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush, you’ll be able to select from soft, medium, or hard bristles. If you are like most people, you will probably want to use a toothbrush with soft bristles. This is a crucial decision for you, since using bristles that may be too tough on your teeth and gums can lead to damage to tooth enamel, gums, and even root surfaces.

 

Seal of Approval

When you find a toothbrush you like, always make sure your new toothbrush has the seal of approval from the American Dental Association. By having this, you will know your toothbrush has undergone numerous quality control tests regarding safety and how effectively it can clean your teeth.

 

Pick the Right Size

Finally, always choose a toothbrush for yourself that is the right size to make it comfortable to hold and put in your mouth. Along with making sure the brush’s head will clean hard-to-reach teeth, use one with a handle that feels comfortable and is long enough to meet your needs.

 

By following each of these tips, you’ll be well on your way to improving your dental health, no matter whether your toothbrush is manual or electric.

woman with toothbrush

Ways to Keep Your Gums Healthy

Everyone wants to have a gleaming smile with white, even teeth. But not everyone realizes that the best way to keep your smile intact is to take the best possible care of your gums. Without a regular regimen of oral hygiene, you could eventually get periodontal disease and risk losing your teeth.

Here are some of the main ways to care for your gums properly.

Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day

Proper brushing loosens plaque that can build along the gum line. Make sure you are brushing gently, with a soft bristled brush. Vigorous brushing can cause your gums to recede, exposing even more of your tooth surface to plaque.

Floss Daily

Flossing removes particles from between the teeth, preventing not only tooth decay but also the development of tartar, a precursor of gum disease in many individuals.

Rinse out Your Mouth After Eating

While not an effective as brushing your teeth, rinsing your mouth with water after you eat something can flush out some of the bacteria and food particles that cause plaque

Use Mouthwash

Therapeutic mouthwash helps to prevent gum disease by eliminating some of the bacteria that causes plaque and tartar. How do you know if it’s therapeutic and not simply a cosmetic brand? Check for the ADA seal on the label.

Stop Smoking

There is an established link between smoking and periodontal disease. While smoking doesn’t cause gum disease outright, it suppresses the human immune system so that it’s more difficult for your body to fight against the bacteria that cause infections in the mouth. Smoking also makes it harder for your mouth to heal after an infection.

See Your Dentist Regularly

When you get your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year, the hygienist has a chance to remove plaque and scrape away tartar. They also can check the overall health of your gums and take necessary steps to prevent gum disease from developing.

At Southern Oaks Dental Care in Beaumont, Texas, we are committed to helping you prevent gum disease. Call us at (409) 835-6257 to schedule an appointment.