My Blog

Posts for: May, 2017

By Kimberly Chapman, D.D.S.
May 04, 2017

Find out how your daily dental routine along with professional dental cleanings can help you maintain good oral health.

Benjamin Franklin once said that, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Our Bothell, WA, family dentist, Dr. Kimberly preventive careChapman, believes wholeheartedly that preventing dental problems is far better than having to treat issues in the future (and not to mention, it is far less expensive!)

Here’s what preventive dentistry entails and why it’s so important:

  • Brushing at least twice a day, and most importantly after the last food is eaten before bedtime,
  • Flossing once a day, with dental floss and not just floss picks,
  • Dental sealants for teeth with deep grooves,
  • Fluoride for people who are at increased risk for decay,
  • Visiting your dentist regularly - studies show people who have regular preventive care wind up needing less dental treatment in their lifetimes
  • Eating a healthy diet - A diet low in carbohydrates is associated with far fewer cavities. This includes minimizing your intake of breads, pastas, rice, chips, crackers, etc. It is not just candies, sodas and sweets that contribute to decay!

Brushing
Want to remove plaque and food from your teeth and gumline? The easiest way to do this is by brushing. You should be brushing at least twice a day. If your toothbrush doesn’t offer an automatic timer, set a timer for two minutes to make sure you are brushing long enough. Most songs on the radio last about 2 minutes, so this can be a good timer as well.

Flossing
Even though brushing cleans many of the tooth’s surfaces, it does NOT get in between teeth. Up to 40% of the surface areas of a tooth is not reached with a toothbrush. This is why flossing should always be part of your oral routine. The good news is that most people only have to floss once a day to keep teeth and gums healthy and clean. People with moderate to severe gum disease may need to floss twice a day, depending on the recommendations of their dentist.

Preventive Sealants
When you come in for your routine cleanings, our Bothell dentist will determine whether or not your smile could benefit from preventive sealants. Children, teens, and at-risk adults benefit from dental sealants, which can seal out plaque, bacteria and food from molars to prevent cavities. Why wait until there is a cavity, when you can prevent one? Again, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

Routine Visits
While daily at-home care is important, nothing replaces visiting us every six months. Professional cleanings are able to remove decay, plaque and tartar that patients cannot access by themselves. Exams with Dr. Kimberly Chapman will reveal early signs of decay, gum disease or infection, and x-rays can pinpoint potential problems that we may not be able to see through a physical exam alone.

Diet
What you eat also impacts your oral health. A good rule of thumb: If the foods you consume are healthy and nourishing for your body they will most likely be beneficial for your smile. Stay away from carbs, sugars (both simple sugars and processed sugars), and instead load up on whole grains, lean sources of protein, healthy fats, and fruits, nuts, and vegetables.

* * Remember : a human tooth submerged in a glass of almost any carbonated soft drink will dissolve into nothing within 24-48 hours!  Dr. Chapman recommends limiting your carbonated beverage intake to 2-3 beverages per week or less. Plain water (with cucumber or mint for those who need some flavor) is the best option for good oral health, and total body health. * * 

The list above is a good reminder that even those who brush and floss regularly and maintain good oral hygiene on their own still need to visit our Bothell, WA, general dentist Dr. Kimberly Chapman to make sure that there are no issues. Most dental disease is silent, and by the time people feel symptoms it may be too late. 

Let us help you get that ounce of prevention!