It's usually easier to prevent a problem than it is it fix it. Your Naples, FL, dentist, Dr. JW Valentine of Eagle Creek Dentistry, offers preventive care services that will help you maintain a healthy smile.
How preventive care can protect your smile
Most people don't give much thought to oral hygiene, but brushing and flossing offer the easiest way to avoid cavities and gum disease. Every day, a transparent coating of plaque builds up on your teeth. The substance interacts with sugars in foods to form acids that weaken tooth enamel, increasing your tooth decay risk. Fortunately, it's easy to keep your risk low by brushing consistently.
Brushing in the morning and evening ensures that plaque is removed promptly, but a quick swipe of the toothbrush isn't enough to prevent cavities. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth for at least two minutes. If you don't follow that recommendation, you may leave plaque behind.
If plaque remains on teeth for as little as seven to 10 days, it may turn into a hard substance called tartar. Unlike plaque, tartar buildup is very noticeable on teeth. If you have tartar, you'll notice a gray or brown substance on your teeth near your gumline. Tartar irritates gums and can be a factor in gum disease.
Tartar is so hard that it can only be removed with special tools during dental cleanings. Twice yearly cleanings and exams also play an important part in preventing oral health issues. During exams, your Naples dentist looks for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, cracks in teeth and fillings and other problems that affect your smile. You'll also be given an oral cancer screening as part of every exam.
When you visit the dentist every six months, he can diagnose tooth-related problems while they're still relatively minor and easy to treat. The longer you wait between visits, the more difficult it may be to treat problems.
Is it time for your next checkup? Call your Naples, FL, dentist, Dr. JW Valentine of Eagle Creek Dentistry, at (239) 417-6453 to schedule an appointment.