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Preventive Dentistry

Sunday, June 29, 2014

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

The old analogy works especially well in dentistry.

There are many forms of preventive dentistry such as daily brushing and flossing and twice yearly periodic exams and professional cleanings.

Brushing is the most important aspect. It should be done with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association. (The ADA.) You should replace your toothbrush every month. YES!!! Every month!!! Don’t wait until you go on vacation  or visit me and get one in your take home bag. If you are waiting to change your brush until the bristles are really worn and raged you are waiting too long.

Everyone benefits from preventive dentistry. This is especially true for children. Parents should start brushing the child’s teeth as soon as they erupt.

Eating a balanced diet and limiting sweets will help prevent dental decay. I am saying not to eat sweets? Of course not.   What determines how bad a food is for your teeth is the amount of sugar and how long it stays in contact with your teeth. A very bad food would be caramel. It is very sticky and high is sugar content. A bad scenario is the dish of candy. You walk by and eat one, then another later and again and again. It is similar to slowly eating hard candy. It is high in sugar (almost pure sugar!!!) and is slowly bathing the enamel for a long time.

Flossing is done to clean between the teeth. Do not believe that a “new and improved” toothbrush will get between the teeth like it says on television. It will never happen.   A strong, thin floss should be used such as Glide.

All this work will keep your teeth and gums healthy, your smile bright and your breath fresh. Maintaining a clean mouth benefits overall health and improves your self confidence.

Thomas G. Botis, DMD, FAGD 6/29/2014

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