Oral Health Basics
Good oral hygiene begins with clean teeth, proper dental care habits, and awareness of daily behaviors. Brushing and flossing properly from a young age helps prevent oral disease—such as cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer—as you age. Nutrition, regular teeth cleanings, and your medical history also impact your oral health standing.
Common Oral Diseases & Conditions
Common oral diseases and conditions include dental caries, gingivitis, periodontal disease, bruxism (teeth grinding), plaque buildup, cracked tooth syndrome, and more:
- Bad Breath
- Dry Mouth
- Cracked Teeth
- Tooth Sensitivity
- Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction
- Mouth Breathing
- Gum Recession
- Burning Mouth
- Gingival Hyperplasia
How to Take Care of Your Teeth
To reduce the chance of developing a minor or serious oral condition, staying on top of basic oral care practices is essential. Many people don’t realize they may be flossing or brushing incorrectly, which can lead to more serious problems down the road:
Properly flossing teeth daily helps reduce the chance of dental caries between teeth. Flossing removes plaque and food in places where toothbrushes can’t reach. Establishing a normal routine reduces the chance of tooth decay, cavities, and other conditions.
Brushing at least twice a day is one of the most important oral care habits because it keeps the teeth and mouth healthy. Using a fluoride-based toothpaste also stimulates the gums, which helps prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and cavities.
Dental Care Treatment Options
Depending on needs and the severity of an oral condition or disease, there are many different dental specialists to choose from:
General Dentist Visits
General dentists are the “go-to” for preventive procedures and treatments. Unlike specialists, general dentists do not specialize in one specific area of dentistry. They offer direct and indirect restorations, fillings, sealants, routine teeth cleanings, x-rays, and fluoride treatment for people of all ages.
Rather than providing a wide range of services, dental specialists focus on one area of dentistry. Specialists include endodontists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, orthodontists, and periodontists. For example, if a patient needs specialized treatment for a root canal, they would likely visit an endodontist to receive high-quality care.
Pediatric Dental Care
Pediatric dentists specialize in treating babies and children into adolescence. Babies should begin seeing a pediatric dentist around 1 year of age or within six months of their first tooth eruption. Doing so helps prevent primary tooth decay and cavities.