Check Ups & Preventive Care

Preventing gum disease and tooth decay isn’t difficult; it just requires sticking to a routine. That routine needs to include brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups. These three steps work together to prevent serious problems and keep your whole mouth healthy.

Brushing is, of course, the most basic dental hygiene task you do at home. You should brush at least twice a day, but it’s important to brush correctly. You should brush after meals, but not too soon after eating. Give your teeth about 20 minutes to recover from chewing, or else you could actually damage your tooth enamel. Sipping water during meals is also a good way to help wash away bacteria. When you brush use short, wide strokes side to side. After brushing the front and back of your teeth, use up and down strokes on the front of your teeth to clean the chewing surfaces.

Flossing is a must to thoroughly remove food particles from between teeth. You can use traditional dental floss, floss picks or a water flosser, though regular floss is best. Floss every space between your teeth each time you floss, and do floss daily.

Some people think that if they take really good care of their teeth at home, they don’t need to see the dentist unless they have a problem. The trouble with this is that by the time you notice a problem, like chronic toothache or bleeding gums, it might be a problem that will take some invasive dental procedures to solve. That’s because minor problems, like gingivitis, sometimes don’t have symptoms that you will notice on your own. But a dentist like Dr. Jessica Hill can spot trouble early on, and take steps to correct it without the need for complex treatments.

Gingivitis or the earliest form of gum disease is the most common oral health problem people face. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums caused by the build-up of bacteria. It can be very subtle at first, causing no pain or noticeable signs like swelling or bleeding. By the time you notice a problem, it might be too late for a simple dental cleaning to effectively remove all the infection. When gingivitis is more advanced, it’s called periodontitis, and that requires a deep cleaning to get below the gum line to remove all plaque and tartar.

By coming in for routine dental checkups every six months, Dr. Hill can spot gingivitis early. She can also detect any other problems you might not be aware of. Routine cleanings as part of your checkups can reverse gingivitis if it is present, and keep your mouth in optimum health.

If you would like to make an appointment for an exam and cleaning, or if you’d like to learn more about dental hygiene, call Dr. Jessica Hill in Alexandria, Virginia now.

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