Celebrating Spring with Oral Health Month
Spring is often a lovely time of year that’s enough to make anybody smile so it’s a good opportunity to make sure your dental health is the best it can be. April is traditionally Oral Health month here in Canada. We have put together five easy tips to help our patients enjoy optimal oral health.
1 Regular Dental Checkups
Make sure you visit Chatham Dental Centre regularly. During your first visit, Dr. James Cadigan will thoroughly assess your dental health and can advise you how frequently you should schedule your check-ups. Generally, most adults will need check-ups every six months, but some people may benefit from more frequent appointments.
2 Good Oral Hygiene
Practice good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth at least twice a day and please don’t forget to floss at least once-a-day. We know lots of people don’t enjoy flossing but it’s highly effective at helping to remove food and plaque that becomes trapped in between teeth and which can build up around your gum line. When you floss regularly, you help to reduce your risk of gum disease and bad breath.
If you find it particularly awkward to floss, then ask us for help. Our hygienists really enjoy helping patients improve their oral care and they will be happy to work with you, providing practical advice on flossing techniques or information about other tools to try.
If flossing is too awkward, interdental brushes could be a great solution or you might want to purchase a water flosser. These can be great for anybody who has problems with dexterity.
3 Watch Your Nutrition
A healthy smile needs great nutrition, so it pays to watch what you eat and also when you eat it. Ideally, try to choose nutrient-rich foods rather than foods that are high in sugars or heavily processed. Sugary and sticky foods can easily cause dental problems, especially if you don’t regularly brush and floss. However, we realise it’s not realistic to expect you to eat like an angel all the time, so when you do want to eat something that’s naughty but nice, it’s best to eat it as part of your main meal. This helps to reduce the damage caused to your teeth by reducing the amount of time your teeth are exposed to sugars and acid.
4 Pay Attention to Your Teeth
Keep an eye on your dental health in between check-ups and be aware for any signs or symptoms that may require professional dental care.
One of the most common dental problems is periodontal disease or gum disease and where gums begin to look shiny, swollen or red and which may begin to bleed after brushing or flossing. Another common symptom is bad breath, so if you’ve noticed people beginning to back away when you talk to them, it could be time for a check-up. During your dental check-ups, you will receive regular screenings for oral cancer but it’s worth knowing the symptoms that could indicate that your oral health has changed.
Symptoms to be aware of include any changes to the tissues inside your mouth, for example sores that fail to heal after two weeks, any changes to the texture or colour of tissues, or signs of tingling or numbness.
5 Avoid Tobacco
If you smoke or use tobacco products, think about quitting. We know it’s tricky but using tobacco products can cause major oral health problems. It also increases your risk of periodontal disease and oral cancer. Additionally, quitting smoking will help improve your breath and nicotine will no longer stain your teeth. You might even want to celebrate successfully quitting with a professional teeth whitening treatment.
If it’s been a while since your last dental visit, please request an appointment at Chatham Dental Centre and we’ll get back to you quickly to schedule one.