In case you are wondering how to protect the dental health of your family
Q: How does dental health affect quality of life?A: Comfort tops the list. Chronic tooth pain or sensitivity impairs concentration. That can show up as poor school and athletic performance, or reduced productivity at work. Self-confidence is another vital quality of life factor. A person with deteriorated teeth is not as likely to smile readily or interact socially. That could mean not gaining a friend, not having a date, or getting passed up for a job or promotion. Eating is essential support for regenerative processes that keep the body functioning properly. It is also a fundamentally satisfying part of life. Missing teeth or those in poor condition can lead to inadequate nutrition and loss of enjoyment in dining.
Q: What is all the fuss about gum disease?A: Gum disease represents much more than a little blood on the toothbrush. Harmful oral pathogens produce acidic irritants that inflame soft tissues and break down ligaments and bone that anchor teeth. Without proper dental care, gum disease progresses, causing loss of teeth. Bacteria responsible for periodontal disease enter the bloodstream through infected gum tissue, get into the digestive tract, and are aspirated into the respiratory system. Gum disease is linked to grave health consequences including increased risk of diabetes, heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, certain cancers, osteoporosis, respiratory ailments, and premature births.
Q: Do lifestyle habits impact oral health?A: Definitely. Research indicates that tobacco use is one of the primary risk factors in development of periodontal disease. Chemicals in tobacco weaken the immune system, making it less effective in fighting off oral pathogens, and impairing the body’s ability to heal diseased gums. Smokers are four times as likely to get cavities as non-smokers, and risk is even higher with regular use of smokeless tobacco.
Heavy drinkers are at elevated risk of tooth decay, mouth sores, and oral cancer. Combined tobacco use and alcohol consumption can be dentally disastrous!
Q: What are some tips on how to protect the dental health of your family?
- Watch what you eat – Oral bacteria love residue from sugary foods and carbohydrates. Try switching just one or two snacks a day from candy, cookies, or chips to crunchy, raw vegetables. Prep some celery, carrot, or cucumber strips on Sunday and enjoy them all week when you have the urge to nibble.
- Think about what you drink – Regular soda and fruit juices are loaded with sugar. In this liquid form, it gets into every crevice. However, diet soda and low-sugar energy drinks are very acidic, so they can be equally damaging to tooth enamel. Most elaborate coffee drinks have a lot of sugar and carbohydrates from dairy. Again, start with small changes and build on your success. Keep plenty of fresh, plain water on hand. Encourage your family to trade one flavored drink for water each day. Then another, and another.
- Daily hygiene – You have probably heard it all your life – because it is true. Teeth should be brushed at least in the morning and before bedtime, to knock down bacterial plaque – after every meal and snack is ideal. Use nonabrasive paste, a soft toothbrush, and a light touch to avoid scratching enamel or irritating gums. Proper brushing gets about 70 percent of exposed tooth surfaces clean. Floss at least once a day (before going to bed) to remove food debris, plaque, and bacteria from the other 30 percent.
- Dental visits – Regular checkups, twice a year or more frequently for someone managing gum disease or other dental problems, are critical. The hygiene team gets to spots you cannot see or reach with home care. This is also the dentist’s chance to intercept possible issues early, when they can be treated with the least discomfort and expense, and the best outcome.
- Special helps – A powered toothbrush, oral irrigation device, or special flosser can make daily dental care easier and more effective. Dr. Bernstein is happy to talk with you about extra steps for improved dental health.
Maintaining healthy teeth can be a fun endeavor involving everyone in the household. Call 248.636.2100 to schedule appointments at Richard S. Bernstein, D.D.S. in Farmington Hills, MI, for more information on how to protect the dental health of your family.
Richard S. Bernstein D.D.S
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With over 25 years of experience, Dr. Bernstein is a renowned cosmetic dentist and is passionate about providing the best for his patients, making him a respected pillar of trust amongst his community. He possesses a Masters in Biochemistry - WSU School of Medicine, and a Doctorate in Dental Surgery - University of Detroit.He is presently a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, and a Diplomate in the American Board of Aesthetic Dentistry (ABAD) to name a few.
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