Oral Hygiene and Your Smile

Do you ever stop and think about how important your daily oral hygiene efforts are to your smile? They are crucial! You are the main line of defense when it comes to protecting your teeth and gums from the ravages of tooth decay and gum disease in between our dental cleanings and exams.

You see, bacteria in the mouth never take time off. And because bacteria thrive in the mouth, it rests on you to clean teeth and gums every day to prevent the bacterial buildup known as “plaque” from attacking your smile. The food you eat (and drink) feeds oral bacteria and produces acids that attack the teeth and gums. Sugary, starchy foods especially help bacteria form into dental plaque, and you can feel plaque when you run your tongue along the teeth before brushing. This sticky film will harden and cause problems between the teeth and along the gumline.

Plaque acids weaken tooth enamel and irritate gum tissue unless it is removed. And it’s not just cavities that will arise when the enamel is weakened. Over time, gum irritation makes them pull away from the teeth and form pockets which fill up with bacteria and pus. Without treatment, your teeth will loosen and fall out.

This is where your oral hygiene efforts make all the difference. To keep plaque in check, brush at least twice a day and floss once a day. While a toothbrush clears plaque along tooth surfaces, dental flossing clears plaque along the gumline and in between the teeth where your brush can’t clean.

Use a toothbrush with a small head so that you can reach the molars and a soft-bristled toothbrush to protect gum tissue and tooth enamel. If you are cavity prone, you can use an antimicrobial toothpaste with fluoride. To lower bacteria in the mouth, you can rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash once a day, and we are happy to give you personalized advice depending on your oral health.

If you would like more personalized information, or to schedule your next cleaning, please call our Gill Family Dentistry team at (209) 549-1721 today. Our dentist, Dr. Amandeep S Gill and staff in Modesto, California, are here to work with you to create your healthiest smile!

How Do Cavities Form?

Have you ever gone to a dentist and learned that you have a cavity? Have you ever thought about how your cavities might have formed? Would you be surprised to hear that cavities and tooth decay form in different stages, or that you could reverse them before it becomes too serious?

You see, when you eat and chew, your teeth and gums will be exposed to plaque. If not removed, plaque can weaken the protective layer of your teeth, which is also known as enamel. Flossing and brushing are also important if you’d like to keep plaque and bad bacteria off of your teeth. Sadly, even if you do these things on a daily basis, your enamel may still be damaged. If this happens, you could notice white spots on your pearly whites. Luckily, this problem is reversible. However, if enamel decay is not addressed, it could continue to spread. At this point, you’ll need to have the cavity filled. Fortunately, you can usually notice a dark spot on your smile to help you catch your cavity before it becomes too severe.

If untreated, your tooth decay can also spread to your dentin—the soft layer beneath your enamel. Tooth decay can also get to the pulp of your tooth, which can affect the connective tissue and your tooth’s nerves. If this happens, you could need root canal therapy. Unfortunately, decay can continue to spread farther and might ultimately affect the bone that keeps your pearly whites in place.

You can generally avoid these issues by brushing and flossing your pearly whites on a regular basis and by scheduling regular appointments with us. If you would like to learn more about the stages of tooth decay in Modesto, California, please feel free to give Gill Family Dentistry a call at (209) 549-1721. Our dentist, Dr. Amandeep S Gill, and our team look forward to hearing from you soon.

Your Perfect Mouthwash

Taking care of your teeth and gums is not really that hard to do. Diligently brushing and flossing twice a day, along with bi-annual dental visits for cleanings and checkups can go a long way in ensuring that your smile is healthy for years to come. But adding a good mouthwash to your daily mix can help support your oral health even more.

If you are buying a mouthwash off your grocer’s shelves, look for one sporting the American can Dental Association seal of acceptance on the label. If it has the seal you will know that this product has been rigorously tested and found to be safe and effective.

Depending on the type of mouthwash you choose, you can experience the following:

Protection. Fluoride mouthwash will keep cavities and periodontal disease away by strengthening tooth enamel and preventing dental decay.

Desensitization. Arginine in mouthwash helps in sealing the dentinal tubules in sensitive teeth. This will help relieve pain for teeth that hurt when exposed to hot or cold temperature in food and drinks, and sometimes even when breathing in cold air.

Better Breath. Antimicrobial mouthwashes help remove bits of food particles and kills bacteria that makes one’s breath smell bad.

Germ fighting. Chlorhexidine glucose in mouthwash kills germs that hurt teeth and gums and stops bacterial growth. Sticky bacterial film forms into plaque which coats teeth and gums and hardens fairly quickly into tartar if not removed. Once plaque hardens into tartar it can cause gingivitis which requires removal using special tools by your dentist.

Soothing Action. Salt mixed in water can be used as mouthwash and helps to soothe inflammation and mucus membranes. Canker sores and other oral infections benefit from salt-water rinses. Salt water works by changing the pH of the mouth, which can deter the production of microorganisms, though it doesn’t kill them outright.

For more information about how finding the best mouthwash for your needs, or if you would like to schedule an appointment, reach out to our staff at Gill Family Dentistry at (209) 549-1721 and we will be happy to help!