7 Ways to Keep Your Gums Healthy

Woman using dental floss

Oral health is an important part of your overall health and wellness. When you think about oral health, you most likely think about your teeth. But the health of your teeth is only part of oral health. Gum health is also important, as the teeth and gums must work together.

The gums are the support structure for your teeth. They are the connective tissue between the teeth and the jaw. When your gums are healthy, they are able to adequately hold your teeth in place and protect the roots of your teeth. But unhealthy gums can be a serious problem. Periodontal disease, the official name for gum disease, can lead to oral health issues and be detrimental to your overall health.

How can you prevent gum disease? Here are 7 ways to keep your gums healthy. 

  • Brush your teeth. Dentists recommend brushing your teeth a minimum of twice a day. Brush once in the morning after breakfast and once at night before you go to bed. Thorough brushing removes plaque from your teeth, preventing it from infecting your gums and causing gum disease. The very best thing you can do for your mouth is to go to sleep with it as clean as possible
  • Floss your teeth. Flossing is just as important as brushing your teeth. Dentists recommend flossing your teeth a minimum of once a day. The best time is when you brush right before bed. Flossing removes plaque from between your teeth and in the spaces between your teeth and gums. It also helps to strengthen your gums, making them more resilient to irritation and infection.
  • Go to the dentist regularly. Besides taking care of your teeth and mouth at home, it is important to go to the dentist every 6 months for professional cleanings and exams. Dental cleanings remove plaque that builds up on the teeth and under the gums over time, including plaque that has hardened into calculus and can only be removed with special dental tools. Dental exams also detect cavities and gum disease. This allows your dentist to treat things in the early stages before they progress. Scaling and root planing procedures can be done to help treat and prevent gum disease if necessary.
  • Use quality toothpaste. In addition to brushing your teeth, you should also be careful when choosing toothpaste. In most cases, it’s recommended that the toothpaste you use contains fluoride and is approved by the ADA (American Dental Association). If you’re not sure what toothpaste to use, ask your dentist for a recommendation.
  • Avoid constant snacking and sipping. Your eating and drinking habits can definitely affect your gum health. If you constantly snack or sip on beverages throughout the day, you are feeding the bacteria in your mouth and allowing it to overpopulate. Your mouth needs time to recover between eating and drinking to build up necessary enzymes that protect your teeth and gums. Sipping on water throughout the day is fine, but other beverages and snacks should be consumed in one sitting. After eating or drinking it’s best to rinse your mouth with water.
  • Avoid smoking, vaping and tobacco products. All of these products have many negative effects on your health, and oral health is one of them. Smoking restricts the blood flow to your gum tissue, making it more susceptible to infection and irritation. Chewing tobacco, vaping and other tobacco products have a similar effect.
  • Use mouthwash. Mouthwash does not reduce the need for brushing and flossing but it can help reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth that causes gum disease. Mouthwash also gets into the small spaces in your mouth that you may miss with your toothbrush or floss.

Creekview Dental Provides Regular Cleanings and Gum Care

Going to the dentist regularly is important to your gum health. If you have dental insurance, your plan should help pay for regular dental cleanings and exams. If you don’t have insurance, routine dental appointments are affordable. Creekview Dental accepts most dental insurance providers and offers financing options to make dental care more affordable.

Call 651-738-8204 or contact us today to schedule an appointment.

How Does Sugar Affect Your Teeth?

Teeth crying emotion with dental plaque cleaning tool and candy ,isolated on white background, With clipping path teeth and tool

 

There’s the age old saying, “Sugar will rot your teeth.” You probably heard it as a child, maybe repeated it to your children, and your dentist has probably warned you about sugar in regards to your dental health. Are you wondering exactly how sugar affects your teeth? There is actual science behind it that explains why sugar is bad for your teeth and how you can still enjoy sweets now and then and protect your teeth from the effects. 

Sugar Feeds Bacteria

As you know, there are always bacteria that live in your mouth. The right amount and type of bacteria is good. But when certain bacteria get overpopulated, it can cause dental and oral health issues. How do bacteria get overpopulated in your mouth? When there is excess sugar available to feed them. 

Bacteria Causes Gum Disease

Why does it matter if there is too much bacteria in your mouth? It causes tooth decay. The bacteria cling to the teeth and gums. When bacteria infect the gums, it results in gum disease, known as periodontal disease. Nearly half of American adults have some degree of gum disease, and a sugary diet is partly to blame. 

Bacteria Causes Tooth Decay 

When bacteria settles into pockets and grooves in the teeth, it eats away at the enamel, causing cavities. Cavities need to be filled as soon as they are detected to prevent them from getting deeper. Untreated cavities become places for more bacteria to gather and make the cavity worse, possibly reaching the inner soft pulp inside of the tooth and root. A cavity that has reached the soft pulp will require a root canal. 

Got a Sweet Tooth? Here’s How to Protect Your Teeth

Of course it would be best to avoid sugar altogether. But if you want to be able to enjoy sweets every now and then, here’s what you can do to lessen the effect on your teeth. 

  • Brush your teeth. It is recommended that you brush your teeth twice a day on a regular basis. But if you want to get the best protection for your teeth, rinse well with water and then brush immediately after eating or drinking something sweet. If you can’t brush right away, you should definitely rinse your mouth well with water. 
  • Floss your teeth. You should floss your teeth once a day to remove plaque from in between your teeth and the pockets between your teeth and gums. If you have the opportunity to floss after eating a sweet treat, do so. 
  • Go to the dentist regularly. For patients without periodontal disease it is recommended that you go to the dentist for routine cleanings and exams every 6 months. Regular dental cleanings remove plaque from your teeth that gets missed when you brush. X-Rays and tooth examinations detect cavities in the early stages so that they can be filled before becoming a more serious problem. Patients with periodontal disease typically require cleanings every 3 to 4 months for optimum results. 
  • Avoid constant sipping and snacking. Another helpful tip for avoiding the negative effects of sugar is to limit the amount of time you spend consuming sugary foods and beverages. If you drink soda or sweet tea, don’t sip on it all day. Drink it in one sitting and then rinse well with water. Don’t suck on hard candy or munch on candy pieces for hours at a time. Eat something sweet in one sitting. 

Now that you know how sugar affects your teeth, you can take the necessary steps to prevent the negative effects like cavities and gum disease. 

Preventive Care at Creekview Dental 

An important part of maintaining your dental health is going to the dentist for preventive care at the recommended interval. Your dentist and hygienist will work with you to determine the ideal schedule for keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy and for early detection of cavities and periodontal disease. Creekview Dental provides comprehensive dental services including preventive and restorative care. If sugar consumption is affecting your dental health, we can help you develop healthier habits to protect your teeth. 

Call 651-738-8204 or contact us to schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping you maintain your dental health. 

Is Dental Insurance Worth the Cost?

Do you have dental insurance? Whether you already have dental insurance or you’re thinking about purchasing it, you may be wondering if it is worth the cost. Dental services can be expensive from routine cleanings to complex procedures. Having insurance can cover all or a portion of the cost of some of these services, reducing the amount you pay out of pocket. 

But is dental insurance worth the cost? If you have to pay a monthly premium to have dental insurance, does it actually save you money? It all depends on your situation. Here’s what to consider before you pay for dental insurance. 

 

Dental Insurance Covers Routine Cleanings and X-Rays

One of the biggest advantages of dental insurance is that most plans cover routine cleanings every 6 months and X-Rays once a year. For healthy, low risk patients, Dentists recommend having your teeth professionally cleaned and examined every 6 months to prevent decay. Routine exams are also used to identify any dental or oral issues that need to be addressed. X-Rays are typically only required once a year to detect cavities or other dental issues that can’t be seen with the naked eye. Some plans require a copay for dental services. 

 

Dental Insurance Makes Dental Procedures More Affordable

Most dental insurance plans cover a percentage of certain dental procedures. This is where it helps to look at the details of the plan you are considering purchasing. Consider your dental needs when it comes to choosing a plan. If your teeth are relatively healthy and you don’t need many complex procedures, a basic plan may be enough for you. But if you tend to get cavities or you know you may need a crown or a root canal, you might want to choose a higher tier plan that would cover a bigger percentage of more complex procedures. 

 

Having Insurance Encourages People to Go to the Dentist

People who have dental insurance are more likely to visit the dentist regularly than people who don’t. When your routine cleanings are covered, it makes it easier and less expensive to go. People may forgo dental visits if they don’t want to pay for them out of pocket. 

Why does this matter? Because routine dental cleanings and exams are an important part of your dental health. Removing plaque from your teeth prevents tooth decay and gum disease. If you want your teeth to last for your lifetime, you need to be under the care of a dentist. Regular dental exams allow you to catch problems while they are smaller and less expensive to treat. 

 

Dental Insurance Through Your Employer vs Self Purchased Insurance

If your employer offers dental insurance as part of a benefits package, this is usually the most affordable option. You may have the premium deducted from your paycheck during each pay period so that you are hardly aware of it. It is still a good idea to compare the premium of your employer’s insurance and that of other self purchased insurance options. Self purchased options typically have more restrictions and less reimbursement than Employer sponsored plans. With self purchased plans you need to carefully review information related to waiting periods and missing tooth clauses. 

 

Dental Practices That Are “In-Network” vs Those That “Accept” Your Insurance

If you have dental insurance or you choose to purchase it, it is important to know the difference between two common insurance terms. Some dental practices will be “in-network” with your insurance provider, meaning that the dentist and the insurance company have negotiated a special price for typical dental services, usually lower than what an out of network dentist will charge. You will pay less out of pocket when you go to an in-network dentist. Your dental insurance provider can offer you a list of in-network dental practices in your area. 

 

Creekview Dental Works With Many Insurance Providers

If you’re considering whether or not dental insurance is worth the cost, discuss your options with Creekview Dental. We are in-network with many dental insurance providers and accept most major providers and plans. Review our patient information for insurance details

Call (651) 738-8204 or contact us to schedule an appointment. We look forward to providing you with affordable dental care. 

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Odontologist Examining Patient During COVID19

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