College football season has arrived, and that makes us smile.
It’s fair to say that Alabama residents care about their football. We hope you also care just as much about your oral health. We’ve noticed that some lessons from football translate to oral care as well.
First, solid defense is necessary for a successful season. On the field, this means keeping your opponent out of the end zone. In your mouth, this means using preventive dentistry to keep bacteria from causing tooth decay and gum disease in your mouth.
Second, everyone member of the team has to play their part for the defense to work well. In general dentistry, this means you’ve got to do your part at home, and we have to do our part to support you when you visit Alabama Family Dental for routine cleanings and examinations.
If you have any questions, we welcome you to continue reading and to schedule an appointment at our dentist office in Mobile, AL.
The Front Line: Brushing Your Teeth
The bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease live inside your mouth. They are the offense in this analogy. Every day, they are regrouping and looking for angles to attack your teeth and gum tissue.
A solid defense should be strong at all levels. The front line of your oral care defense is brushing your teeth.
The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice per day for two minutes each time. Think of brushing as a way of blitzing the bacteria before they can get going.
To brush, you will need a toothpaste with fluoride and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Be sure to scrub your teeth on all sides, and brush your tongue. You should spit out your toothpaste and rinse your toothbrush when you are finished.
The Linebackers: Flossing Your Teeth
You probably saw some news stories questioning how effective flossing is at preventing gum disease. We still encourage you to do it, and we encourage you to follow the ADA guidelines.
Will flossing treat or reverse periodontitis (advanced gum disease)? No, you will need professional help to remove that. However, flossing can help to reverse gingivitis, a milder form of gum disease that can lead to periodontitis if left untreated.
in other words, flossing won’t fix advanced gum disease, but it can help you avoid the conditions that can lead to this problem.
And if nothing else, flossing removes particles of food that may have become stuck between your teeth or under your gumline. By flossing or using another interdental device, you are cleaning the place that your toothbrush can’t reach.
It’s also important to floss correctly. Here is a link to an illustration about flossing created by the ADA.
Now, we mentioned interdental cleaners. Dental floss is one. If you can’t or won’t use floss, there are other options.
Many people use water flossers instead. These devices use a stream of water to dislodge food particles from the spaces between your teeth and gums.
Another option is flossers. These are disposable devices with short handles and U-shaped opening with a piece of floss between them. Many people find these more comfortable to use than floss.
The Secondary: Routine Cleanings
When you come to our office for a routine visit, a dental hygienist will give you a professional cleaning. This is like the safety who is the last line of defense against a touchdown.
During your cleanings, our hygienists will remove any plaque or tartar that may have developed on your teeth. Then they will give your teeth a good polish to get your teeth looking nice, too.
As part of your visits, we will also give you a thorough examination. Like a coach reviewing game tape, we are looking for potential problems before they get too bad.
If we see signs of tooth day or gum disease, we will advise you on the best way to deal with it, whether that is a change to your daily oral hygiene routine, more frequent dental visits, or another treatment.
Special Teams: Sedation Dentistry
In order for a football team to make plays, the players have to be in the right position. If you are someone who struggles with dental anxiety, it can be difficult to sit in a dentist’s chair.
Sedation dentistry can help. Through dental sedation, you have a way to ease your anxiety, remain calm, and receive the cleaning or other treatment you need to keep your mouth healthy.
Make The Right Call
In football, part of the challenge is knowing when to call the right defense to stop the other team’s offense. In dental care, things are simpler. Bacteria is constantly doing the same things, so you just have to make the effort to prevent it.
At home, brush and floss your teeth every day. Also, be sure to visit Alabama Family Dental a couple times each year for professional cleanings and exams.