It’s very easy to take our teeth for granted.
But think about it: your teeth are working all the time. They’re either chomping, or chewing or even helping you to sing or talk. They’re the frontline troops that protect your mouth and your stomach.
Meanwhile, every day, plaque builds up on your teeth. And when you eat or drink anything with sugar or starch in it, the sugar encourages bacteria in your mouth to emit acids that then attack and break down your tooth enamel. Ultimately, the plaque wears down the teeth and that leads to tooth decay. Plaque build-up also causes gum disease.
If unchecked, severe gum disease (or periodontal disease) will develop and this ultimately destroys the bone in the teeth.
Really bad oral health has also been linked to heart disease and it may affect other organs in your body. Germs and bacteria often find their way into the body through the mouth and can cause infections. And periodontal disease has also been linked to diabetes.
So that’s the scary news! The good news is that it doesn’t take much to look after your teeth. Good, regular oral health care will have huge benefits to you in many areas. The main benefit is preventative – stopping any serious damage to your health and helping you to live a long, happy and healthy life.
Our dentists will give you a full examination of your teeth; look at the state of your gums, mouth and tongue; check how your teeth sit in your mouth and look for any irregularities.
They’ll also give your mouth a full clean and chat to you about your cleaning habits and any concerns you may have.
How often you come in for a dental check-up really depends on how healthy your teeth are.
Generally, if you’ve got good oral health, then once a year is fine. If you have any oral health issues then you may need to come in sooner. Our dentists will advise you what the ideal check-up frequency is for you. Which leads us to…
There’s a clear advantage to having the same dentist throughout the years. The dentist will know your oral health history intimately and if they’ve been looking after your family for a while, they may be able to spot any genetic traits that lead to problems. This can be really critical for early diagnosis.
More broadly, having the same dentist means they know your health, your habits and your treatment plans. They’ll know what to look for and will have developed an easy shorthand with you. This is why we really enjoy working with long-term clients. We’ve been working with many of the same patients and their families for years. We enjoy building up a rapport and quickly spotting problems.
Obviously the better and healthier you eat, the better that is for your body generally.
The main enemies of teeth are sugar and starch. If you have sugar and starch very frequently this means your mouth is working very hard to get rid of the acid that is constantly forming. It takes around an hour for your mouth to get rid of any acid that’s formed from sugar.
If you cut down on sugary drinks like fizzy soft drinks or wine and limit starchy food like French fries or rice, your teeth will thank you for it!
Drinking a glass of water after each meal also really helps your teeth remove acid more quickly.
Your mouth and teeth are doing a wonderful job looking after you and guarding your body from infections and ill health, so a regular, healthy routine of check-ups and cleaning and good diet will have great long-term rewards for your health.