Prevent cavities and protect your smile by practicing preventive dental care every day.
If you are brushing and flossing every day then you are already practicing preventive dentistry. The goal of our Erie, PA, family dentist Dr. Rosanne Palermo is to make sure that every patient, from children to seniors, knows how to maintain healthy smiles. After all, preventive dentistry is crucial for supporting healthy teeth and gums. Here’s what preventive dentistry entails,
Visiting your dentist regularly
When was the last time you visited your Erie, PA, family dentist? If it’s been more than six months then you are already falling behind on practicing good preventive dentistry.
Everyone, no matter how healthy they think they are, can benefit from visiting the dentist twice a year. Even kids over 1-year-old have to follow this same rule. No one is too young or too old to get out of visiting their dentist for cleanings and checkups.
Brush at least twice a day
Okay, now be honest: How often do you brush your teeth? If you said twice a day then congratulations, you are already practicing one very important part of preventive dentistry. At the very least you should be brushing twice a day (once in the morning and again at night). If you have an electric toothbrush then chances are good it has a built-in timer that will turn off automatically once your 2-minute brushing is over. If you don’t, it's important that you are timing yourself and brushing for at least two minutes every time.
Floss once daily
Most people brush their teeth regularly, but a lot of people forget about the other important home oral care routine component--flossing. If you aren’t flossing every day then you are leaving a significant portion of your teeth and gums unclean. If you don’t remove food and plaque from between teeth this can lead to cavities and gum disease, so it’s crucial that you start picking up this habit and sticking with it every day if you want to maintain a healthy smile.
These are just the top components of preventive dentistry. Other forms of preventive dentistry include,
- Wearing a mouthguard when you play contact sports to prevent dental injuries
- Having your dentist place dental sealants on your child’s back teeth to seal out decay
- Getting fluoride treatment from a dental professional if your child does not get enough fluoride from tap water or through brushing with fluoride toothpaste.
If you are looking for a family dentist here in Erie, PA, that can provide your family with comprehensive, customized and quality preventative dentistry then you've come to the right place. Call our office today at (814) 833-3001 to schedule your next cleaning.
Taking care of crowns and bridges is essentially like taking care of your natural teeth, with a few exceptions. It's important to know how to maintain these restorations at home to avoid uncomfortable damage. Dr. Rosanne Palermo, your dentist in Erie, Pennsylvania, can help you take care of your crowns and bridges.
Avoid crunchy and sticky foods
One of the most common and easily preventable ways to keep your crowns and bridges stable is by not eating foods that can dislodge or break them. Chewing ice, sticky candy, or suckers can spell disaster for dental work; while the cement your Erie dentist uses for crowns and bridges can remain secure for decades, it isn't designed to be indestructible. If you have to work hard at chewing something, it's probably a risk you shouldn't take.
Stay current on dental checkups
Visiting Dr. Palermo's office twice a year isn't just for a deep cleaning and a new toothbrush, especially if you have crowns and bridges. Through visual exams and X-rays, your Erie dentist can determine if there are any problems developing with your restorations, your gum tissue, or the teeth beneath the crowns. Early detection and swift intervention can save you a lot of discomfort, money, and time.
Be careful when flossing
Once a crown is in place, it tightens the space that occupies the teeth next to it. The difference is typically only a few microns, but you may still have to change your flossing habits to avoid dislodging the crown. Instead of lifting the floss from between the teeth, for example, you'll need to slide it. This can be better achieved with a thin plastic threader rather than the flossing picks or the string alone. Your Erie dentist can make some suggestions on the best techniques for flossing when you have crowns and bridges.
We treat patients with crowns, bridges, implants; your unique dental situation will be given the best possible care. To schedule a checkup with Dr. Palermo, contact our office in Erie, Pennsylvania today at (814) 833-3001.
Do you remember when one of your baby teeth began to wiggle? You knew it wouldn't be long before it came out, followed by a little something from the “tooth fairy” under your pillow.
Those were the days! But a loose permanent tooth is something else entirely: Often a sign of advanced periodontal (gum) disease, you may be on the verge of losing the tooth forever.
This sad affair begins with dental plaque, a thin biofilm found on tooth surfaces and the ideal haven for oral bacteria that can trigger a gum infection. You might not notice such an infection in its early stages, other than a few initial signs like gum redness, swelling, or bleeding. If these occur, it's imperative you seek treatment promptly.
Without treatment, the infection can spread below the gum line, weakening gum attachments to teeth (which actually hold teeth in place) and eventually doing the same to underlying bone. All of this damage can lead to a tooth becoming loose and eventually falling out.
But it's not inevitable a loose tooth will eventually be lost, though it may require long-term efforts to save it. We may first need to do a bite adjustment, which will often allow a tooth to decrease its mobility. If the mobility has not been reduced enough, we may recommend stabilizing the teeth through splinting: These are techniques used to join the loose tooth to more stable teeth, usually with a thin strip of metal or other dental material.
We'll also need to treat the underlying cause, which in the case of gum disease requires aggressive plaque removal. Our goal is to manually remove all plaque and tartar (calcified plaque) deposits, particularly below the gum line. It may also require surgery to fully access deep pockets of infection. But once we remove the offending plaque, the gums can begin to heal.
The best strategy, though, is to avoid gum disease altogether. You can substantially lower your infection risk by brushing and flossing daily and getting a dental cleaning every six months. Dental visits also allow us to check your gums for any signs of infection that might require prompt action.
A loose tooth for a kid is a cause for celebration. It's the exact opposite for an adult loose tooth. Taking care of your gums with daily hygiene and receiving prompt treatment for any emerging infection could help you avoid it.
If you would like more information on treating gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “When Permanent Teeth Become Loose.”
Officially, Labor Day honors the contributions of America's working men and women. Unofficially, the long holiday weekend in early September marks the end of the laid-back summer season. The day after, Americans snap back to the business, and busyness, of life. Post-Labor Day may also be an opportune time to revitalize another kind of business: taking care of your family's oral health.
Here are a few ways to refocus on healthier teeth and gums as you and yours return to regular work, school or household routines after this last summer holiday.
Make oral hygiene a daily thing. The single best thing anyone can do to maintain good dental health is to brush and floss every day. Diligently performing these tasks prevents the buildup of dental plaque, a thin bacterial film most responsible for dental disease. Twice-a-year dental cleanings round out routine dental care and help minimize your family's risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Restrict sugar in your family's diet. Diets high in sugar increase the risk of tooth decay. That's because the oral bacteria that cause dental disease thrive on this popular carbohydrate. So, if your summer vacation included lots of sweet treats, tighten up your family's sugar intake to the equivalent (or less) of 6-9 teaspoonfuls per day. Instead, focus on foods rich in calcium and other tooth-strengthening nutrients.
Treat emerging dental problems. Even with the best hygiene and dietary practices, none of us is completely immune from dental disease. Regular dental visits should bring to light any threats brewing against your teeth and gums. In between, though, if you or a family member notices tooth pain, swollen or bleeding gums, or other abnormal signs in the mouth, don't put off getting checked. The sooner a dental problem is treated, the less teeth and gum damage—and treatment expense—it will cause.
Pursue a smile makeover. Do you or someone you love want a new smile? Or perhaps just a tweak to your current smile? There are amazing cosmetic dental techniques available, from simple teeth whitening to dental implants for missing teeth, that could completely transform your smile appearance. And don't let age discourage you: As long as a person is in reasonably good health with no prohibitive dental conditions, they can undergo most cosmetic procedures—including orthodontics—well into adulthood.
With vacations from work winding down and school gearing up, it takes no time at all to return to a hectic pace. Just be sure to carve out some time for optimizing oral health and appearance. Even a little effort can make a lifetime of difference.
If you would like more information on enhancing your dental health and smile appearance, please contact us or schedule a consultation.
While periodontal (gum) disease could ruin your dental health, it doesn’t have to. Dentists and periodontists (specialists in gums and other supporting tooth structures) have effective methods for stopping it, especially if the infection is diagnosed and treated in its earliest stages. With effective treatment, those swollen, reddened and bleeding gums can return to a healthy shade of pink.
But even if we stop the infection, you’re not out of danger. If you’ve had at least one bout with gum disease, you’re at higher risk for another infection. We will need to maintain ongoing vigilance to prevent another infection.
If you’ve recently undergone treatment for gum disease, here are 3 things you should do to keep your now healthy gums continually healthy.
Practice daily oral hygiene. Gum disease arises most often from dental plaque, a thin biofilm of disease-causing bacteria that builds up on tooth surfaces. It’s important for everyone to remove this buildup with daily brushing and flossing, but it’s even more so if you’ve already experienced gum disease. Practicing effective oral hygiene every day will reduce the presence of bacteria that could ignite a new infection.
See the dentist more frequently. The general rule for routine dental cleanings and checkups is twice a year. But you may need more frequent visits, post-gum disease. Depending on the severity of your disease, we may recommend you make return visits at two- to three-month intervals of time. These visits may also include heightened screenings to ensure another infection hasn’t taken hold, as well as procedures to make it easier to clean certain tooth areas prone to plaque buildup.
Manage other health conditions. Gum disease’s severity is often caused by the inflammatory response your body initiates to fight the infection, which then becomes chronic. This is similar to other conditions like diabetes, heart disease or rheumatoid arthritis: There’s evidence inflammation elsewhere in the body could worsen a gum infection, and vice-versa. Managing other health conditions through medical care, medication and lifestyle changes could minimize the occurrence and severity of a future gum infection.
If you would like more information on remaining infection-free after gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Periodontal Cleanings.”
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