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PREVENTION - this is really important!
YOU HAVE THE POWER TO PREVENT DENTAL PROBLEMS -
It is amazing (and somewhat unfortunate) how dentistry has not gotten to message of how to minimize dental problems out to the American public. It's really not rocket science. Too many patients who we meet are resigned to thinking that there problems are just bad luck, weak teeth, or the result of not brushing and flossing enough. Here's how it really works:
There are two basic types of problems that people most commonly face in the mouth:
* breakdown of the teeth -- in other words, dental decay or "cavities"
* breakdown of the "gums" -- loss of the soft tissue and bone holding the teeth firmly in place (examples are gingivitis, pyorrhea, periodontitis, bleeding gums, etc.)
The underlying cause for all of these problems are microscopic bacteria which are found in even the healthiest mouths. It's when these bacteria grow in excessively high numbers that problems arise. So...if you don't want problems, keep the bacteria in your mouth to a minimum. Don't help them to grow in the first place by feeding them too many sugars. And remove them daily with effective cleaning.
These little germs need two things to grow: food and time. The "food" is the sugars and carbohydrates in our mouths that are so common in our diets. The "time" is how long it takes for bacteria to divide and multiply. A well-fed bacterium can divide into two every five minutes! And each time they double in number (1 becomes 2, then 4, then 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, etc.) so one bacterium can produce a lot of offspring very quickly. In fact, after just two hour's, just one produces over 8 million new germs!!!
There is a happy ending to this story. To keep your mouth in good shape simply:
1. clean the bacteria out of your mouth frequently
2. get the sugars out of your mouth right after every meal
This means, brush at least every morning and night, and floss at least once a day (it may be inconvenient, but flossing is just as important as brushing). Do it any less and you will probably need our services more than is really necessary (thanks, but no thanks). Go a little further by brushing after every meal (or at least rinsing with water); it will help remove the food that the bacteria need to grow on.
And, as we've all heard before, "avoid between meal snacks". If you eat a 5 pound bag of sugar for breakfast and then brush your teeth, you will have fewer cavities than if you suck a few Lifesavers all day long! The bacteria need only a little sugar, but over an extended period of time. So don't nibble on candy, cake, ice cream or cookies. Eat it, enjoy it, and finish it. Don't nurse a can of soda or sweetened coffee. Drink it and finish it. Then, whenever possible, rinse your mouth with a drink of water. It's so simple.
If you follow these rules, the results can be amazing. We're on your side and we'd like to see you do well. Any questions?
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