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Brush Up on Your Preventive Dentistry Basics

Family | Davenport Dental Group | Laredo, TX

When it comes to your teeth, a small amount of prevention can go a long way in saving you money, pain, and time. It’s true that today’s dental replacement and restorative options are better and more realistic than they’ve ever been. But the goal of any dentist — and yourself — should be to keep your natural teeth in the best shape possible.

If you live in the Laredo, TX area, call Davenport Dental Group to book your next appointment. We have two locations for your convenience. To reach our Junction Drive office, call 956-242-6745. For Winfield, dial 956-517-2695.

Brush

You’re probably thinking “Of course I brush my teeth”! But just going through the motions will not do a good job of removing decay-causing plaque and bacteria from your mouth. You should brush at least twice each day (though after every meal is even better) for two minutes at a time. It’s a good idea to use a timer, at least until you are used to brushing for the full two minutes. The toothbrush should be held at a 45° angle to the gumline and you should move it in short circular strokes. Be sure to reach all areas of the teeth: the fronts, backs, chewing surfaces, and gumline.  

Be thorough, but — and this is important — don’t brush too hard. Using too much force can actually damage your tooth enamel and gums, making you vulnerable to sensitivity and gum disease. And be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush, as medium- and firm-bristled brushes may wear down the teeth.

Floss

You probably know that floss loosens bits of food stuck in the teeth. But it has an another important role: it helps remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar on the enamel and along the gumline. To floss properly, use about an 18-inch length and wrap it around your middle fingers (leaving about 2 inches to work with). Hold the floss tightly in a C-shape around each tooth and go up and down and back and forth. Make sure you run the floss against the sides of the teeth and reach the gumline. Use a fresh section of floss every time you move to a new tooth. If you are unable to manipulate string floss, you may use a plastic flosser or water flosser.

Visit the Dentist

You brush, floss, and do everything right at home. There’s no harm in skipping a dental checkup just this once, right?

Wrong.

While it’s great that you take good care of your mouth day to day, visiting the dentist every six months is essential to keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Not all dental problems come with pain or bleeding, at least in the early stages, and your dentist will be able to spot and treat issues before they begin to present symptoms. And through the use of digital X-rays and other diagnostic technology, we will be able to catch things even before they are visible during the doctor’s visual examination.

At Davenport Dental Group, our gentle but skilled hygienists will give you a thorough professional cleaning. This will get rid of the plaque and built-up tartar that you just can’t reach at home.

Fluoride

Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens the tooth enamel, making it more resistant to the acids that cause tooth decay. It can even help reverse decay in its early stages. We offer in-office fluoride treatments to ensure you are getting enough of this vital element.

Sealants

Sealants have been proven to significantly reduce the chances of cavities, especially in children. In this painless process, the teeth are thoroughly cleaned. An acid solution, which helps the sealant material adhere better, is applied. Then the sealant — which is a thin plastic coating — is brushed onto the teeth (usually the chewing surfaces of the back teeth). Sealants, which typically last several years, create a barrier between the tooth surface and harmful bacteria. While enormously effective, they are not a replacement for brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits!

Mouthguards

Essential for active kids (and adults!), athletic mouthguards protect the teeth, gums, and soft tissues of the mouth from injury during contact sports and other activities. At Davenport Dental Group, we can craft a mouthguard that’s custom-fit to the dimensions of your or your child’s mouth. Our mouthguards are better fitting, more comfortable, and more effective than the off-the-shelf varieties sold at drugstores. 

These are just a few of the ways you can protect your gums and teeth — and flaunt a gorgeous natural smile for life. If you live in or around Laredo, TX, be sure to schedule your next checkup at Davenport Dental Group. Call our Junction Drive office at 956-242-6745, our Winfield location at 956-517-2695, or contact us through our handy online form.

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