When you think of a healthy smile, you may picture straight, white teeth, but your gums are just as important. Even if you don’t have cavities, your teeth could be in jeopardy if you develop gum disease. This condition occurs when plaque starts to form along and under the gum line. If not removed with daily brushing and flossing, this sticky substance can harden into tartar, irritating your gums and causing an infection. This leads to gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease.
Since gingivitis is usually painless, most people don’t even know they have it. If left untreated, it can progress to a more advanced stage called periodontitis. This chronic condition affects a whopping 47 percent of American adults over age 30. Without professional care, periodontitis can lead to tissue and bone loss, eventually causing your teeth to loosen and fall out.
Don’t let this happen to you! Follow these gum disease prevention tips to maintain healthy gums and protect your smile.
Brush twice a day
Brushing with fluoride toothpaste is a fundamental way to remove plaque and food particles from your teeth that can irritate your gums. Select a soft bristle toothbrush, and avoid scrubbing too hard since this can erode tooth enamel and cause receding gums. Try an electric toothbrush for even more effective plaque removal.
Don’t just brush—floss!
Even an electric toothbrush can’t sweep away particles and plaque from between your teeth. That’s why flossing is so important. Even if your gums bleed, don’t shy away from this part of your oral care routine—bleeding is a sign that your gums are weak. Flossing more often provides the stimulation they need to help make them stronger.
Use gingivitis-fighting mouthwash
Shop for mouthwash products that reduce plaque, slow tartar formation, fight gingivitis, or all three. Remember, mouthwash isn’t a substitute for brushing and flossing—it should come after these steps to maximize the benefits they offer.
Looking for another reason to quit the habit? Smoking is closely linked to the onset of gum disease and other oral problems. Since nicotine, tar, and other chemicals in cigarettes weaken your immune system, your body has a harder time fighting off a gum infection. Plus, your gums can’t heal as easily once they’re damaged, making gum disease treatment less effective.
Visit the dentist every six months
Since gum disease is so prevalent and quick-forming, children and adults of all ages are encouraged to visit the dentist for an oral exam and professional cleaning every six months. A process called scaling is the only way to remove tartar build-up, a key aspect of gum disease prevention. Your dentist can also check for cavities, polish your teeth, recommend dental care products, and leave you with a brighter, more confident smile.
The services at Park 56 Dental can help you prevent and treat gum disease in NYC. For more dental care tips, or to schedule an appointment with our dentist, please contact us at (212) 826-2322.
If you want to straighten your teeth, you will be pleased to learn that there’s an alternative to brackets and wires called Invisalign. This treatment uses a series of virtually invisible aligners to gradually shift your teeth into the desired position. Learn more about Invisalign to see if this is the solution you’ve been looking for.
How does Invisalign work?
Invisalign aligners are made using 3D computer imaging technology. You wear each upper and lower aligner for about two weeks, removing them only to eat, drink, brush, and floss. Each new set of aligners shifts your teeth ever so slightly until, by the end of your treatment, they have moved into their final straight position. Most patients need between 18 and 30 aligners for a total treatment time of nine to 15 months.
How much does Invisalign cost?
In most cases, the cost of Invisalign is comparable to traditional braces. The total cost depends on your insurance coverage and the complexity of your case. Many dentists offer flexible financing options to help make your dream of having straight teeth a reality. You can also use money from a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) to pay for Invisalign with tax-free dollars.
Why should I put my confidence in Invisalign?
Since Invisalign was first invented in 1997, over six million people worldwide have used this technology to straighten their teeth. Advancements to the Invisalign system, including the introduction of the patented SmartTrack material, allow treatment times to be up to 50 percent faster than other clear aligner treatments. SmartTrack is made from medical-grade, high molecular weight, thermoplastic polymers that are BPA-free and FDA-approved.
How will Invisalign affect my life and appearance?
Because the aligners are virtually invisible, most people won’t even notice you’re undergoing treatment—that is, until you reveal your new smile in a few months! Until then, you’ll enjoy the freedom of removing your aligners at suitable times. This allows you to eat and drink whatever you want, brush and floss like normal, chew gum, play woodwind instruments without added difficulty, and smile with complete confidence at weddings, in photos, or during job interviews. Just remember to wear your aligners for at least 20 to 22 hours a day to avoid delays in your treatment.
How do I clean my aligners?
The Invisalign Cleaning System is the best option for keeping your aligners clean. You can order this online or from your dentist. An alternative is to brush your aligners with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You will also need to brush your teeth after every meal before putting your Invisalign back in. Otherwise, your teeth could become stained by residual food trapped under the aligners.
If you still have questions about Invisalign, Park 56 Dental in NYC can answer them for you. We are a Certified Invisalign Provider with years of experience fitting our patients with this advanced tooth-straightening product. To schedule an Invisalign consultation in New York, please contact us today at (212) 826-2322.