Why is it Important to Keep Your Gums Healthy?

Total oral hygiene, including healthy gums, can have a major effect on your overall health. Studies have shown that poor oral hygiene can have a negative effect on organs like your heart and lungs. Healthy oral hygiene practices can even help reduce your chance of getting heart disease.

Poor gum health can also lead to tooth loss which can, in turn, lead to poor nutrition. Therefore it’s common sense that maintaining proper oral hygiene and healthy gums should be considered essential to everyone’s healthcare regime.  

7 Tips for Keeping Your Gums Healthy

  1. Floss or use an interdental cleaner every day

Flossing or using an interdental cleaner daily can help remove plaque and food particles that brushing may miss. Some people may not like the feel of floss, but there are alternatives. Picks and interdental brushes can provide another way to clean between the teeth and are safe to use every day. 

  1. Brush twice a day 

Proper gum care starts with a regular brushing routine that includes brushing the gums. Brushing twice a day helps remove plaque and bacteria that build up on teeth and gums. Brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste can help keep your gums healthy. 

  1. Replace worn out toothbrushes

Toothbrushes should be replaced every 3-4 months or when the bristles become frayed. Worn toothbrushes can damage your gums and leave them susceptible to gingivitis and gum disease. The bristles of any new toothbrush you buy should be soft enough not to damage the gums or the enamel of your teeth. 

  1. Maintain a proper diet

Eating healthy is great for your overall health and the health of your gums. Try to avoid sugary foods and drinks. Also, avoid late-night snacks after you have already brushed your teeth. When combined with a healthy diet, fruits that are high in fiber may help to slow the progression of oral diseases. 

  1. Use mouthwash

Using an antiseptic mouthwash helps remove bacteria from your teeth, gums, and mouth. This will help improve your oral hygiene and fight bad breath. 

  1. Avoid smoking and tobacco use

Tobacco use can have a detrimental effect on your oral health. Tobacco dries out your mouth and increases the build-up of plaque. Smokers have a much higher rate of oral disease than non-smokers.

  1. Visit your dentist regularlyDentist holding instruments examining teeth. Patient mouth inside view checkup with animated cartoon smiling healthy teeth characters. Teeth examination dentistry concept. Flat vector illustration

While home care is very important, it is also essential to visit your dentist regularly. The experts at Raleigh Comprehensive and Cosmetic Dentistry can help identify problems that may go unnoticed by the untrained eye. We can also help catch problems before they become more serious issues.

It is generally recommended that you see your dentist twice a year, but more frequent visits may be recommended if you have certain risk factors. 

Schedule an Appointment for More Information

The doctors at Raleigh Comprehensive and Cosmetic Dentistry are highly trained in a wide variety of dental procedures. These include, but are not limited to cosmetic, comprehensive, and implant dentistry. If you have any questions about our services or want more information, feel free to contact Raleigh Comprehensive and Cosmetic Dentistry today.

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Proper dental hygiene is important for your overall health. Gum disease, tooth decay, and oral infections can lead to serious health issues. Poor dental hygiene can also cause bad breath and tooth discoloration. The key to great dental hygiene is establishing good habits. Long-term proper dental hygiene can keep your teeth healthy and bright throughout your life. Some of the most fundamental dental hygiene habits are:

Brushing

Brushing your teeth may be the most important part of your dental hygiene routine. The ADA recommends you brush twice a day using an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride can strengthen enamel, Increase your resistant to tooth decay, and reduce the amount of acid the bacteria on your teeth produce. It is also important to ensure you’re brushing correctly. You should be using a soft-bristle toothbrush which should be replaced every 3-4 months, or earlier if the bristles become frayed. The head of your brush should be at a 45-degree angle and make contact with the teeth and gums. Brushing your tongue and roof of your mouth can reduce bacteria and help prevent bad breath.

Cleaning between your teeth

Cleaning between your teeth helps strengthen gums and reduces plaque that brushing may miss. It is recommended you clean between your teeth daily. While some people may have adverse feelings towards flossing, there are alternatives. The most common way for people to clean between their teeth is flossing, but interdental brushes, oral irrigators, and picks can also be effective. Speak to your dentist to discuss what will work best for you.

Healthy lifestyle choices

Your lifestyle choices play a role in your dental hygiene. There are a couple of basic lifestyle choices that can help improve your oral health. Maintain a healthy diet with limited sugary food and drinks. This can help you avoid tooth decay. Also, avoid using tobacco products. This includes cigars, cigarettes, pipes, and smokeless tobacco products. 

Regular visits to your dentist

Making regular visits to the dentist is the cornerstone to proper dental hygiene. The regularity of visits depends on your potential risks, but in general, twice a year is recommended. Dentists can give your teeth a deeper clean and check for potential problem areas. Raleigh Comprehensive and Cosmetic Dentistry can assist you in all of your dental needs. We have a long history of providing quality service to Raleigh and the surrounding areas. Feel free to contact Raleigh Comprehensive and Cosmetic Dentistry if you would like more information about dental hygiene or need to set up an appointment.

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Invisalign FAQ

July 30, 2019 · 0 comments

Have you been thinking about straightening your teeth, but don’t like the look or inflexibility of braces? Invisalign is a discreet alternative that allows you to gradually straighten your teeth. It has been used to successfully straighten the smiles of over 6 million people. Invisalign doesn’t use uncomfortable wires or brackets that are fixed to your teeth. Instead, it uses aligners that are clear and practically invisible.

How do they work?

Invisalign gradually moves your teeth through use of a series of clear aligners. Throughout your treatment, you will be fitted with different aligners that are designed to progress you toward your perfect smile. The first step in the process is to meet with your dentist to create a treatment plan. In this plan, your dentist will map out every step of the process and detail the progression of your treatment. Invisalign aligners are designed to add the right amount of pressure at the right time during your treatment. Over the determined treatment period, you will continue to meet with your doctor to monitor progress. When you’re ready, your doctor will fit you for the next aligner.

What are the advantages of Invisalign?

Clear

Invisalign aligners are made out of a clear FDA-approved plastic that is molded to fit your teeth. The aligners can be trimmed you fit your gum line, so they are more comfortable and discreet. People may not even notice you’re wearing them.

Comfortable

Braces use brackets and wires that can be bulky and irritate the inside of your mouth. Invisalign aligners are thin and custom-designed to fit like a glove. They are also safe and contain no BPA, BPS, latex, or gluten.

Removable

Traditional braces are fixed to your teeth and require you to wear them 24/7. Invisalign aligners can be removed at any time for special occasions like job interviews and weddings. You can also remove them while eating, brushing, and flossing. However, you should wear your Invisalign aligner for 20-22 hours a day for best results.

What happens after your treatment?

After your treatment, your doctor will most likely recommend a retainer. Retainers can be worn at night and keep your teeth from moving into their previous position. Though, every case is different, so be sure to consult your dentist for more information after the completion of your treatment.

How to get started

To start an Invisalign treatment, contact Raleigh Comprehensive & Cosmetic Dentistry for more information. The professionals at Raleigh Comprehensive & Cosmetic Dentistry are experts in Invisalign and all aspects of dentistry, and Dr. Robert Williamson has earned the Preferred Provider designation by Invisalign. This means he has extensive clinical training and experience treating patients and can provide the highest quality care. If you are ready to start Invisalign or want to find out more, call today to schedule an appointment.   

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Dental crowns, also known as caps, are a relatively simple procedure for anyone looking to improve the strength and/or appearance of their teeth. Discolored, sensitive, and damaged teeth can make eating and drinking difficult, as well as cause you to feel self conscious about your appearance. Adding a crown can result in higher confidence and an improved quality of life.  

 Crowns have some advantages over other dental procedures including:

Strength

Crowns are a great way to improve the strength of your teeth. They can be added when your teeth are broken, damaged, or severely cracked. The crown adds a layer of protection that reduces sensitivity and the probability of further damage to the tooth. With proper maintenance a crown can last many years and provide the reinforcement you need.

Appearance

When people hear “crown” they often think of gold teeth, but modern dentistry provides many options. Crowns can now be custom made to look indistinguishable from your existing teeth. Teeth that have become discolored or worn-down can look clean and healthy. When you meet with your dentist, you can discuss options concerning color and shape. A crown can give you the smile you’ve always wanted.

Durability

When properly cared for, crowns can be a long-lasting solution. They last approximately 5-8 years, but, with the right care, can last for many more. To decrease the likelihood of a crown needing replacement, avoid grinding your teeth or chewing on hard things like ice. It is also important to floss, brush your teeth twice a day, and make regular visits to your dentist’s office.

Versatility

Crowns offer certain advantages over other options like fillings and veneers. In some cases, fillings won’t be able to repair more advanced damage to teeth. With crowns, special material can be used to build up and stabilize the tooth. Crowns can be used similarly to veneers to create a more appealing look, but are thicker and provide extra protection to damaged teeth.

Contact your dentist to learn more

Crowns may be the perfect option for you, but it’s always important to consult your dentist. Raleigh Comprehensive & Cosmetic dentistry offers a wide variety of services including cosmetic, implant, sedation, and comprehensive dentistry. With a long history in the community, you can trust them for all of your dentistry needs. 

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We all understand that flossing is one of the most important components of a good oral health routine, however, there are many common flossing mistakes we can all be guilty of making and that could be causing serious damage to our teeth and gums.

Avoiding flossing or flossing incorrectly can actually undermine your health in a myriad of ways, leaving you prone to gum infection and even heart disease in the long run.

Keep reading in order to identify a few common flossing mistakes and how to avoid them.

Common Flossing Mistakes You Didn’t Know You Were Making.

Not paying attention while you’re flossing

Sure, flossing can be a pretty boring task, however, one of the most common flossing mistakes most of us are guilty of is not paying attention while doing it. Truth is, just by looking at the state of your flossing thread you can actually get some good information regarding your oral health.

Next time you’re flossing your teeth take a look at the segment of floss you just used: Does it have any strange colors or smells? Is there blood in it? Paying close attention to your floss can indicate whether there’s an infection growing between your teeth that you haven’t noticed yet, so that you can address it before it gets any worse.

Using too little floss

There’s no reason to go cheap with floss, in fact, the length of your flossing thread should be at least 18” per session so that you are able to cover the space between each tooth without reusing the thread. This common mistake can actually cause you to transfer bacteria from one infected gum pocket to another one that isn’t infected yet.

Sure, bacteria can move through the mouth on its own, but making this common flossing mistake can actually help them multiply and thrive more rapidly than they would on their own.

Flossing too hard

Gum tissue can be very delicate and while flossing is a good way to keep it healthy, you should be careful not to do it so violently that you end up hurting your gums. Allow your floss to be a bit slack when going through the teeth instead of keeping it tight. Snapping into the gum pocket and banging on the tissue aggressively can cause extensive damage over time, leading the tissue to recoil and turn into gum recession.

Remember to wrap the floss gently around the curve of each tooth and slide gently as far as it reaches without irritating the gum. Do this a couple of times before moving on to the next tooth.

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The treatment for dry mouth highly depends on what’s causing it in the first place. People who suffer from this condition have a reduced salivary flow in their mouth that causes dryness, difficulty swallowing and speaking, as well as aversion to eating certain foods such as acidic, crunchy or spicy foods.

The reasons for suffering from this condition can be associated with certain medications or health conditions. Blood pressure medications and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories can have something to do with it as well as conditions such as high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes or thyroid disease. If you’re experiencing symptoms of dry mouth it’s important to talk to your doctor in order to identify what’s causing it and get on your way to solving the problem.

In the meantime, however, there are certain tips for treating dry mouth that anyone can easily follow as a way to placate the symptoms and lower overall discomfort.

8 Tips For Treating Dry Mouth You Can Start Trying

#1. Drink lots of water:

Water is necessary to keep your mouth moist and loosen mucus. Carry a bottle of water with you at all times and keep it by your bed at night so that you can stay hydrated.

#2. Suck and chew:

Sucking on sugar-free candies, chewing sugar-free xylitol containing gum, ice chips or sugar-free popsicles can help increase the levels of saliva flowing through your mouth. However, although they don’t contain sugar these types of treats can still soften your teeth’s enamel so keep their ingestion moderated.

#3. Moisten your food:

Avoid foods that are too dry and eat broths, sauces, soups, creams or gravies as dressings. Eating soft, moist foods that are cool or at room temperature will help treating dry mouth. Also, avoid foods that are too salty or dry as well as food and beverages that are high in sugar.

#4. Avoid alcohol or peroxide in your mouthwash

One essential tip for treating dry mouth is to avoid mouthwashes containing alcohol or peroxide, since these types of ingredients will only make your symptoms worse.

#5. Avoid alcohol and caffeine

Both alcohol and caffeine are detrimental for your oral health but especially if you’re suffering from dry mouth. They not only dry out your mouth but alcohol increases dehydration by triggering frequent urination. While you’re at it, keep acidic beverages such as juices containing orange, apple, grape or tomato out of your reach.

#6. Quit smoking

If you’re a smoker you should know by now that smoking is one of the worst things for your oral health. Make an effort to quit this habit and you’ll surely be experiencing much less discomfort.

#7. Use a soft bristled toothbrush

Toothbrushes that are too hard can damage your teeth and gums. When treating dry mouth, it’s even more important to protect your oral health using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride-containing toothpaste.

#8. Keep your oral health in check

If you have a dry mouth then you are more vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease, since saliva plays an important role in keeping your mouth clean. In order to avoid complications, you must pay special attention to your oral health routine, brushing after every meal, flossing every day and visiting your dentist often.

When suffering from this condition, it’s important that you visit your dentist soon in order to figure out the underlying cause and address it properly. However, these tips for treating dry mouth will surely help you alleviate the symptoms and go back to your normal life soon.

Most of us think we know how to brush our teeth, as we’ve been doing it since we were kids and almost automatically, but the truth is that there are many common brushing mistakes we make without even realizing it, negatively affecting our oral health.

The main problem with brushing incorrectly is that it allows bacteria to grow freely around your teeth, causing tooth decay, gum disease and many other oral health issues that can only be prevented through effective brushing techniques. Find out more about which tooth brushing mistakes to avoid.

Tooth Brushing Mistakes You Didn’t Know You Were Making

Using your toothbrush for too long

Toothbrushes need to be replaced at least every three months. As something that should be used everyday, their bristles start fraying and breaking after a while, making the task of properly cleaning your teeth harder.

Picking the wrong toothbrush

Once it’s time to change to a new toothbrush, a common brushing mistake to avoid is picking the wrong one, meaning one that is too small or too big for your mouth or one with bristles that are too hard and can damage delicate gum tissue.

Look for toothbrushes marked as soft and choose a size or shape that fits easily into your mouth and provides good and easy access to every area of it.

Brushing too hard and too quickly

Many people tend to think that by adding more force into their brushing that they are helping remove bacteria and plaque better, however, this may actually be causing damage to your gums and wearing away at the protective enamel covering your teeth.

The proper way to brush your teeth is to do so as lightly as possible, as if it were a massage more than a scrubbing technique.

Additionally, your tooth brushing time should be at least twice a day for two minutes to get the most out of your brushing experience.

Brushing in circles

Although many of us have been instructed since we were kids that brushing in circles is the right technique, the ADA recommends a different approach to get all of the plaque off. This involves gently moving your brush back and forth in short strokes, while reaching the outer and inner surfaces of each tooth and the chewing surfaces.

In the case of front teeth, you should apply several up-and-down strokes with the brush in a vertical position in order to properly remove all of the debris and plaque.

Forgetting to brush your tongue

The tongue also accumulates plenty of bacteria, so brushing it properly should be an important part of your routine. Once you’re done brushing your teeth, drag the toothbrush across the tongue to remove bacteria or use a brush with a tongue scraper on the back of it.

Skipping the floss

While flossing can be a time consuming task, it is also one of the main things you can do in order to maintain great oral health throughout the rest of your life. Flossing at least once a day is mandatory, given that toothbrushes aren’t enough to get all of the tooth decaying bacteria and food remains that can accumulate between your teeth and gum line.

By knowing which tooth brushing mistakes to avoid, you’re putting yourself on track to better oral health, making sure your smile shine bright for many years to come.

 

Bad breath can happen to anyone, but that doesn’t mean there are not any ways to avoid it. The first thing to do when suffering from halitosis is to identify the cause. There could be a wide range of factors, such as a dry mouth, gum disease, tooth decay, smoking and even the consumption of foods high in protein, sugar or acid.

Promoting good oral health is the number one way to prevent bad breath and here are 5 specific practices to keep in mind.

5 Ways To Prevent Bad Breath

#1 – Brush and floss properly

Properly brushing and flossing your teeth is the best way to prevent bad breath. Brushing should be done for at least two minutes twice a day, making sure that you’ve covered all of the areas in your mouth, especially where teeth meet the gums.

Don’t forget to use the proper tooth brush, one small and soft enough to not damage your gums or erode the enamel of your teeth. Brush your tongue and floss at least once a day, making sure to remove all of the debris accumulated in between your teeth.

#2 – Get regular dental check-ups

The ADA recommends that you visit your dentist twice a year, or every six months. A regular dental check-up provides the opportunity for your dentist to examine your mouth thoroughly and spot any signs of tooth decay, gum disease or anything else that might be harmful before they start causing bigger problems.

A dentist will be able to spot the causes of your bad breath and provide guidance on eliminating it. In case it’s coming from something more serious than certain foods or drinking habits, they’ll be able to pinpoint and address the issue head on.

#3 – Avoid smoking

There are plenty of reasons you should avoid smoking or chewing tobacco, and preventing bad breath is just one of many. Smoking causes your breath to retain the smells of stale tobacco smoke, sometimes called “ashtray smell”, and also make you more vulnerable to gum disease, another cause of halitosis.

#4 – Use mouthwash

Adding mouthwash to your dental care routine is a good way to prevent bad breath. Choosing an antiseptic mouthwash to use after brushing and flossing will kill the bad bacteria. Try using one that contains chlorhexidine, cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorine dioxide, zinc chloride and triclosan, all elements that eliminate the bacteria causing your halitosis.

#5 – Make changes in your diet

Drinking more water and eating foods that are high in fiber can be beneficial ways to prevent bad breath.

Because having a dry mouth can often be a cause of halitosis, drinking a lot of water helps improve saliva production which, in turn, cleanses the mouth and eliminates the bacteria.

On the other hand, foods that are fresh and crunchy can actually help clean the teeth and prevent halitosis given that they improve digestion, helping your body get rid of toxins more easily.

Acidic, sugary drinks and foods should be avoided as much as possible because they wreak havoc on your oral health and can feed the bacteria causing bad breath. Instead of sodas and candy bars, try an apple and a glass of water for your next snack.

Alcohol and sugar can dry out your mouth and promote the growth of bacteria. Therefore, they should be left out of your diet as much as possible if you’re looking to keep good oral health and prevent bad breath.

There’s much more to a healthy mouth than just brushing your teeth and flossing everyday. In fact, there may be a few unhealthy habits you’re falling into without realizing that can be contributing to tooth damage. This is why we have gathered 5 common habits that are hurting your teeth in order for you to never commit them again!

1. Brushing too hard

Brushing twice a day for at least two minutes is the main oral health tip to install in your routine. However, be careful when you do so since brushing too hard is one of the most common habits that hurt your teeth.

Using a hard toothbrush or too much strength can result in gum irritation and tooth damage. It is recommended to always use a soft bristle brush and approach the task as one that is “massaging” rather than “scrubbing”.

2. Nail biting

Nail biting isn’t just bad for your hands, it can also be hurting your smile by causing strain on your jaw and chipping away at your teeth. It is recommended that, if you bite your nails, you find other ways to deal with stress and anxiety by reducing the triggering factors and setting small, realistic goals towards ending this nasty habit.

3. Using teeth as tools

Teeth were meant only for eating, and not to be used as scissors, bottle openers or other types of tools. Whenever you do this, you’re putting yourself at risk of cracking and chipping your teeth, and even injuring your jaw or swallowing something you shouldn’t have.

4. Constant snacking

Snacking all day, especially on sugary foods and drinks, puts you at a high risk of cavities. The bacteria guilty of causing them eats the leftover food hanging around your teeth, which produces an acidic reaction and in turn damages your enamel.

If you can’t help but to snack, try to do so on low fat and low sugar foods, and follow any sugary treats with a big glass of water to wash it all up.

5. A diet of cigarettes, coffee, wine and sugary cola:

Smoking is not only bad for your overall health but actually stains and debilitates your teeth. Similarly, continuously drinking wine, coffee and sugary, dark cola drinks will expose your teeth to acid and sugar, and put you at greatest risk of cavities and teeth staining.

Now that you’re aware of these 5 common habits that are hurting your teeth, this is your opportunity to stop them from taking part in your daily life and start taking better care of your smile. A regular dentist checkup and daily oral care routine will keep you on the right track of perfect oral health.

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While you may think you’ve got it all covered by brushing your teeth every day, a little more effort is necessary for an outstanding smile and oral health. Here are 7 oral hygiene tips you can start implementing today for better teeth tomorrow.

1. Use an adequate brushing technique

When getting rid of the leftover food particles left around your teeth after a meal, a quick brush won’t do. The American Dental Association (ADA) offers a series of oral hygiene tips regarding a proper brushing technique.

First, your brush should be held at a 45-degree angle facing your gums, so that the brushing is done along the sides and tops of the teeth. The brush should be held vertically and stroking along the backs of the front anterior teeth, so that the most vulnerable places are targeted.

Brushing must be done for at least two minutes at a time, so be sure you’ve reached it all before you’re done.

2. Pick the right brush

A major oral hygiene tip is making sure you’ve picked the right brush. Usually, for adults the right brush will be a small or medium-sized one that is small enough to reach the cracks in your molars where debris usually hides.

3. Floss properly

When it comes to flossing, the same effort should go into it as brushing does. An 18” piece of floss will do the work as you wrap it up around each tooth in a “C” shape and rub against the surface of the teeth in order to remove all of the bacteria that accumulates in between them.

4. Use a mouthwash

An ADA approved mouthwash is a great way to reach the parts of your teeth that brushing and flossing didn’t cover. By adding mouthwash to your oral hygiene routine, you’re ensuring you’ll get the most thorough clean possible, while protecting the gums and avoiding conditions such as gingivitis.

5. Properly clean and change your brush

While covering your toothbrush is unnecessary and unrecommended, the ADA stands that this may actually increase bacteria growth,  you should clean it properly after every use by rinsing it with water and leaving it to air dry. Remember to change your brush after three or four months so it can do its job more efficiently.

6. Use a tongue scraper

You may find a ridged area on the back of the head of your toothbrush. This is called a tongue scraper and is meant to be used on your tongue to remove remaining bacteria after you’re done brushing. Adding this extra step to your oral hygiene routine will ensure fresh breath and a bacteria free mouth.

7. Stop snacking

One of the most important oral hygiene tips to consider is to give up snacks. Sugary snacks are especially harmful because sugar feeds bacteria living between your teeth and encourages it to reproduce.

Having a midnight snack after already having brushed your teeth can be harmful. This will make the bacteria and debris stay in your mouth the entire night, a long enough time for them to spread around.

Follow these oral hygiene tips and incorporate them into your daily routine so you can take direct control over your oral health. Along with regular dental checkups, following these oral hygiene tips will ensure your mouth stays clean and healthy, and your smile shining.  

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