Mama always said an apple a day keeps the doctor away—but what about the dentist? The jury is still out on that one because the crunching motion stimulates your teeth and jawbone in a good way, and apples are generally healthy—but they also contain a lot of natural sugars. While the sentiment “prevention is the always the best medicine” still rings true, you should keep seeing your dentist regularly—no matter how healthy you feel and how nice your teeth look. Only we have the technology, the tools, and the education to effectively clean your teeth and screen for any small problems that may go otherwise undetected. Diligent homecare, a healthy diet and lifestyle, and twice-yearly visits with Dr. Davis and our hygiene team are a sure ticket to the oral health express. Choo choo!
You might think of your teeth as permanent fixtures in your mouth—but unfortunately, that’s not necessarily the case. If you don’t give teeth a clean environment to live in, they may just pack their bags and vacate the premises. This may go without saying, but your natural teeth are houseguests you want to keep around as long as possible.
Wondering how to be kind to your teeth? There are the obvious things like brushing twice a day and flossing daily, but using proper technique is also important. You can add rinsing with water to minimize plaque and acidity throughout the day. And of course, minimizing sugar intake is always good advice for both oral and overall health.
Aah, the new-age debate. The truth is, both tools are technically capable of getting the job done. The problem usually lies with the user. Most of us are not experts at brushing our teeth effectively, that’s where the power of an electric toothbrush comes in handy. Electric toothbrushes can provide upwards of 60,000 strokes per minute, compared to only 200 strokes from a manual. Plus, you get much more cleaning power with less effort. We’re happy to offer Sonicare® brushes for our patients—the #1 dentist-recommended toothbrush.
Oral cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer because of late-stage detection, and oral cancer rates are on the rise. In the past, the biggest known risk factors were alcohol and tobacco use, but today, HPV outweighs those two combined as the leading risk factor. Most sexually active adults will contract HPV during their lives, so regular oral cancer screenings become even more important.
At Gracious Smiles, we take prevention seriously, so we are dedicated to providing regular oral cancer screenings for our patients. We are always on the lookout for any changes or abnormalities in your mouth, and you also need to be vigilant to ensure we catch things early on before they progress.
If you fall into any of the high-risk categories, it’s extremely important for you to be screened for oral cancer regularly. But what if you don’t? Is it still necessary? Yes! Studies show that 25% of oral cancer patients show no risk factors—so make sure you’re living a healthy lifestyle, pay close attention to what’s going on in your mouth, and come see us regularly for peace of mind. It might just save your life.
*Can be found on the lips, cheeks, tongue, gums, throat, or any surface of the mouth
When it comes to prevention, dental sealants are one of our favorite tools in our tool belt. Sealants are most commonly placed on newly-erupted permanent molars in children if they are more prone to cavities, but can also be used on adults with a high risk of cavity development.
Dental sealants involve painting a thin coating over every surface of your teeth to protect them, literally sealing out cavity-causing bacteria and acid to prevent the breakdown of enamel. If you or your child suffer from dry mouth, eat a lot of sugar, or are otherwise more cavity-prone, we may recommend sealants to protect your teeth from further damage.
Dental sealants are typically recommended for back molars that are the hardest to brush and floss and tend to develop more cavities. The material used is a nontoxic combination of plastic and resin that works like a raincoat for cavity-prone teeth. Sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of decay by nearly 80% in molars. If you’re suffering from tooth decay and are unable to get the problem under control on your own, let’s go ahead and seal the deal.
Your mouth, face, jaw, and skull are a delicate interconnected network of bones, tendons, nerves, joints, and more. Not to mention, they house one of your most valuable body parts—your brain. Would you trust your or your child’s most important life source to be protected by a cheap store-bought mouthguard? We hope not.
Whether you or your little one is the star athlete in the family, we highly recommend investing in a custom mouthguard. Only a custom mouthguard provides the best fit and the highest level of protection against oral injuries. Custom mouthguards may even minimize damage from concussions by up to 50%. Mama always said, better safe than sorry!
If you clench and grind your teeth at night—as many of us do—a nightguard can provide the relief you deserve. Nightguards are custom-fitted, so they’re comfortable to wear and provide invaluable protection between your top and bottom teeth. Over time without protection, teeth grinding (bruxism) can cause irreversible enamel damage as you grind your teeth down night after night. A nightguard can prevent the need for major restorative dental work down the road. Plus, the cushion allows you to wake up feeling well-rested and free of tooth and jaw pain. What a relief!
If you’re looking for a new general or family dentist in the greater Toledo area, look no further than Gracious Smiles Aesthetic General Dentistry. Contact your Waterville general dentist, Dr. April Davis, and our team today to join our dental family. We’re happy to provide quality dental care our patients feel grateful for.
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