Benefits of Good Oral Health
Do you want your smile to sparkle forever? By practicing proper oral health, you can keep your pearly whites healthy and feel great about your appearance.
Keeping your mouth clean and free of disease is vital to maintaining your oral health. Good dental hygiene can also prevent bad breath and help you maintain your overall health.
Tips for Maintaining Good Oral Health
To protect your oral health, practice good oral hygiene every day. Here are some tips to help you keep your teeth and gums healthy:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
- Floss daily
- Eat a healthy diet and limit between-meal snacks
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if bristles are frayed
- Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings
- Avoid tobacco use
If you have any questions or concerns about your oral health, call our office at 815-320-3870. At Hickory Creek Family Dentistry we believe that taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health.
Cold Sore Treatment
Cold sores are a common nuisance. Although there is no cure for the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1 and HSV-2) that causes them, cold sore breakouts can be managed and avoided. Cold sores, sometimes called fever blisters, appear around the lips and mouth and are often associated with red, swollen and irritated skin around the breakout areas.
The mouth is often considered a window to the rest of the body because many other illnesses first present themselves as changes within the mouth. As a result, a comprehensive oral exam is recommended each time you visit a new practice to serve as a benchmark of your overall health.
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and especially tap water. This mineral helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque and sugars in the mouth. It attracts other minerals and strengthens tooth enamel.
Gentle Professional Cleanings
People over the age of four or five should visit their dentist for a professional teeth cleaning at least twice a year. To maintain oral health, it is very important that you stay current on the condition of your teeth so that if problems are detected, they can be treated early to avoid developing more serious issues.
At Hickory Creek Family Dentistry, we provide comfortable, gentle teeth cleanings, specifically to detect, deter and prevent gum disease. If we find a cause for concern, we may recommend a deep gum cleaning to remove tartar below the gum line, smooth out surfaces where plaque builds up and eliminate bacterial infection.
Custom-fit mouth guards are prescribed and created by a dental professional from thermoplastic material and are based on a detailed mold taken of your mouth and teeth. They can be made for either sports or for nighttime teeth grinding and are created differently depending on the intended use. They're highly personalized, as your dentist can adjust the thickness of the mouth guard, and they're designed to fit perfectly in your mouth with no adjustments needed.
If you’re experiencing chronic headaches and migraines because of involuntary night-time teeth clenching, let Hickory Creek Family Dentistry help you with a night guard. A night guard is a thin, transparent device that is worn over the biting surface of your teeth while you sleep to prevent contact between the upper and lower teeth. Night guards have also proven to be an effective remedy for patients who are suffering from the effects of grinding and clenching their teeth while sleeping.
Oral Cancer Screening
The dental community is the first line of defense in early detection of oral cancer. The goal of oral cancer screenings is to detect mouth cancer or precancerous lesions that may lead to mouth cancer at an early stage when cancer or lesions are easiest to remove and most likely to be cured. When found at the early stages of development, oral cancers have an 80-90% survival rate. Early detection is imperative!
Dental sealants consist of a plastic material that is placed on the chewing surface of the permanent back teeth, molars, and premolars to help protect them from bacteria and acids that contribute to tooth decay. Because of the likelihood of developing decay in the depressions and grooves of the premolars and molars, children and teenagers are candidates for sealants. However, adults without decay or fillings in their molars can also benefit from sealants.
If hot, cold, sweet or very acidic foods and drinks, or breathing in cold air, makes your teeth painful, then you may have tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity can come and go over time. It occurs when the enamel that protects your teeth gets thinner, or when gum recession occurs, exposing the underlying surface, the dentin, and reducing the protection the enamel and gums provide to the tooth and root.