Your teeth may be tough, but they're not indestructible. Habits that may seem harmless - like chewing on ice - can damage your smile and lead to extensive dental work. Keep your dentist happy by f ...View Article
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Dental hygienists play an important role in helping you maintain your smile. Thanks to their training and clinical expertise, these dental professionals are an excellent source of information about a variety of dental topics. The next time you visit the dentist's office for a cleaning, ask the hygienist these three questions.
Am I brushing and flossing correctly?
Brushing and flossing are essential to good oral health, but poor technique can actually damage your teeth and gums. Do you brush your teeth very forcefully? Applying too much pressure when you brush can wear away your enamel, the outer layer of your teeth. Once the enamel erodes, your teeth may become sensitive to hot or cold temperatures, which can make drinking cold water or eating piping hot pizza a painful experience.
Enamel erosion can also increase your risk of tooth decay. Once breaks occur in the enamel, it's much easier for bacteria to enter your teeth and cause cavities. If your enamel is eroded, you may notice that your teeth look yellower. The problem occurs when the naturally yellow dentin layer under the enamel is exposed. Other signs of erosion include small depressions in your teeth and chips and cracks.
Brushing your teeth too hard may also cause receding gums, which not only increases your risk of sensitivity, but may also lead to gum disease. If gum recession is severe, deep pockets may form around the teeth. The pockets become infected with bacteria, which can damage your teeth and your jawbone.
Following these brushing and flossing tips can help you avoid enamel erosion and gum recession:
How Can I Keep My Teeth Healthy?
Your dental hygienist can offer several tips that will help you keep your smile bright and healthy, such as:
What Can I Do About Bad Breath?
Do you go through an entire package of breath mints in a day or two, yet still feel that your breath isn't fresh? Your dental hygienist can help you figure out why you have bad breath by asking these questions:
Dental hygienists work closely with dentists and can provide valuable advice that will help you keep your smile sparkling. Are you due for a cleaning and an exam? Call us today and we'll help you schedule a convenient appointment time.
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Mayo Clinic: Bad Breath
American Dental Association: Gum Disease
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