What a great time of year! January marks the beginning of the calendar year in most parts of the world. It’s a fresh start, a clean slate and a new beginning. If you have dental insurance then most likely your benefits renew and you can start addressing those dental needs that you’ve been putting off.
I recently read that 45% of us actually make new year’s resolutions and that 3 out of the top 10 resolutions pertain to our health and well-being. So if you are one of us that set healthy resolutions for the new year, don’t forget to include dental care on your list. The health of your teeth and gums contributes to your overall health. Caring for your mouth now can prevent problems later. Call at our office today at 479-582-1100 or visit our website to schedule your appointment, and together let’s make sure you are in excellent dental health for the New Year and getting the full value of your insurance.
As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns about your dental care. My direct email is firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to hear from you!
Plaque is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria that constantly forms on our teeth and along the gum line. Plaque contains bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. As plaque forms and is not removed by proper brushing and flossing, it can harden into tartar — sometimes called calculus — which is calcified (or hardened) plaque that attaches to the enamel on your teeth, as well as below the gum line.
Signs & Symptoms
Everyone develops plaque because bacteria are constantly growing in our mouths, which is not necessarily easy to see. Plaque that is not removed from around the gum line can cause inflammation and irritation to the gums around your teeth, leading to gingivitis (red, swollen, bleeding gums). If gingivitis is not treated, it can progress to periodontal disease and, possibly, tooth loss.
Unlike plaque, tartar is a mineral buildup that’s fairly easy to see, if above the gum line. The most common sign of tartar is a yellow or brown deposit between the lower front teeth or at the gum line. The only way to remove tartar completely is to see your dentist or dental hygienist for a professional cleaning.
A lot of what we eat and drink remains in our mouths long after we’ve finished. Bacteria in our mouths thrive on many of these foods — namely sugars and carbohydrates — and produce acids that can attack the tooth surface. Additionally, if proper flossing and tooth brushing are not conducted efficiently each day this leads to more plaque and tartar development. Tartar gives plaque more surface area on which to grow and a much stickier surface to adhere to.
If not removed through daily brushing and flossing, plaque can build up, and the associated bacteria can infect not only your gums and teeth, but also the gum tissue and bone that support the teeth.
It’s easy to prevent plaque buildup with proper care. Make sure to:
- Brush thoroughly after every meal or at least twice a day for 2 minutes to thoroughly remove plaque from all surfaces of your teeth.
- Floss daily to remove plaque from between your teeth and under your gum line, where your toothbrush may not reach.
- Limit sugary or starchy foods, especially sticky snacks.
- Schedule at least two regular dental visits for professional cleanings and dental examinations each year.
Proper brushing, especially with a tartar control toothpaste, and flossing are necessary to reduce plaque and tartar buildup. Once tartar has formed, only your dentist or dental hygienist can remove it professionally.
Without proper treatment, tartar and plaque can lead to a variety of issues like cavities, gum disease and tooth loss. It’s important to brush after every meal or at least twice a day and floss once a day, and schedule regular checkups and professional cleanings with your dentist.
*Colgate Oral Care Center
2016 Get Your Goals It’s the beginning of a new year and maybe you are part of that 45% that set goals and make resolutions each year or maybe you don’t set them because you know that you won’t stick to them so what’s the point. Did you know that Dr. Hodous’ wife Kim is an award winning author and professional speaker? She has an amazing E-book that will help you not only set the goals you want but will provide the tools that will ensure that you follow through and actually achieve them! CLICK HERE to check out this life-changing E-book and ‘SET and GET’ your goals this year and start to design the life of your dreams!