5-plus instructions for home care, courtesy of your partners at Tooth Love
Your teeth deserve “Tender Loving Care.” Keeping your teeth and supportive gums healthy with consistent, diligent home care is an absolute must. Exceptional care at home complements the extraordinary care that you find at Tooth Love. During routine visits to our office in Irvine, California, Dr. Joanna Jefferson and our hygiene team can provide “tips” to make caring for your teeth, gums, and mouth, in general, easy and more effective. We don’t just tell (provide instructions); we also show. For instance, we demonstrate ways to use floss threaders and clean well underneath bridges or other hard-to-reach spots.
We also appreciate that you are more than your teeth and gums. There are numerous factors that influence the health of your mouth. And your oral health also plays a starring role in your systemic health, overall wellbeing, and quality of life. We have put a spotlight on some of those factors below.
Fuel your oral health
Journal of Periodontology-approved foods include good sources of Omega-3s, calcium, and Vitamin D. These include nuts like walnuts, soybeans, yogurt, greens (such as spinach), cereals, and mushrooms, and cheeses. These foods pack a powerful health punch in that they also support your ticker and immune system.
Stomp out smoking
Look, this is the worst-kept secret ever. We all know smoking is bad for us. But it remains a global public health threat due to its addictive properties. Cigarettes and other tobacco products still represent leading causes of respiratory and heart failure. At Tooth Love, we see its effects on the gums; it is a significant risk factor for periodontal (gum) disease. Continued use of tobacco products also interferes with our ability to treat and resolve advanced gum disease, which leads to tooth loss. Nicotine impairs your body’s ability to defend itself from oral infections and weakens the power to heal following periodontal therapy. We can help you kick this habit and connect you with support and resources.
Keep diabetes (and other conditions) in check
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that just over one in every 10 Americans has diabetes. Around 90 to 95% of those newly diagnosed cases are Type 2 diabetes. Poor management of the disease is a risk factor for severe gum disease or periodontitis. So, keeping blood sugars in check is essential for your eyes, heart, and your mouth. We will discuss any changes to your systemic health during regular exams, as many other chronic conditions (and the drugs used to manage them) can affect your teeth and gums.
Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is a good start in the journey toward lifelong oral care; however, it is vital that you also brush completely and thoroughly. Be sure to carefully clean any areas that tend to harbor decay-promoting bacteria and plaque. These areas include the gums, tongue, and roof of your mouth (palate). Brush for two minutes each time. We may also recommend mouthwashes or rinses and electric- or battery-powered brushes to effectively remove food debris, harmful bacteria, and plaque build-up.
Brushing well is not sufficient. You also need to floss at least once each day consistently. If you fail to floss between teeth, you may be missing at least 33% of the surface of each tooth! That is a lot of surface area that remains untouched and left to collect bacterial plaque. Be sure also to use enough floss. So, you aren’t accidentally reusing parts of the floss. This behavior relocates the bacteria from one part of your mouth to another part. Consistency is key; you don’t need to use a forceful hand to floss adequately. Aggressive flossing can damage the gums. If you can’t get the hang of flossing or have problems with hard-to-clean teeth, we can recommend specialized products such as interdental brushes.
We look forward to elevating your home care routine for the love and beauty of your smile! Call Tooth Love at (949) 444-5656 to schedule your hygiene appointment.