Facts

Tips for a healthy mouth and answers to common questions about Delta Dental Smiles.

Healthy Smile, Happy Life

Having a healthy mouth is smart.  By taking care of your teeth today, you can stop cavities from happening tomorrow. You know the basics of taking care of your teeth:  brush twice a day, floss once a day, and see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.  Here are a few more tips to help keep your smile healthy.

  • Drink tap water (with fluoride)
  • Brush with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Do not use tobacco products, if you smoke, quit
  • Limit drinks with alcohol
  • Eat healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables
  • Limit sugary drinks like soda and juice
  • Have your dentist do regular oral cancer screenings 

Which toothbrush is the best?

It depends on you. Choose a design that is comfortable for you. Look for:

  • A small head, making it easier to reach all the areas of your mouth.
  • Soft, round-ended bristles.  These clean teeth and gums without damaging them.

Electric toothbrushes aren’t better than a regular toothbrush. They can help people who have trouble brushing by hand.

Which toothpaste is right for you?

Choose the type of toothpaste that’s right for you:

  • Fluoride helps teeth keep their calcium and stay strong. Strong teeth get less cavities. Make sure your toothpaste has fluoride!
  • Whitening toothpastes are grittier to help remove stains.  They may harm teeth if overused.
  • Tartar control toothpaste is designed to remove plaque so it doesn’t harden into tartar.
  • Toothpastes for sensitive teeth help to make teeth less sensitive to heat and cold.

Remember: Your toothbrush gets a daily workout fighting cavities! To keep it in fighting shape, replace it every two to three months and after you have a cold.

5 Things a Dental Cleaning Can do for You

Prevent Cavities. The film that builds up on your teeth is called plaque. Plaque has acid that eats away at the tooth enamel.  Over time this can lead to cavities. Plaque can be removed by brushing, flossing, and cleanings at your dental office.

Stop Tooth Loss. Gum disease starts with built-up plaque.  It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. As gum disease advances it can destroy bone in your jaw.  This can cause teeth to loosen and fall out. Luckily, you can prevent this through regular dental cleanings, brushing, and flossing.

Brighten Your Smile. Drinking coffee, tea, and wine or using tobacco can stain your teeth. A dental cleaning can remove built-up stains and leave you with freshly polished teeth. The result? A whiter, brighter smile!

Freshen Your Breath. Brushing and flossing is the best way to prevent bad breath. Even if you brush and floss regularly, getting a cleaning is a great way to keep your breath fresh.

Boost Your Overall Health. Studies have shown a connection between dental health and overall health. Regular dental cleanings may help lower your risk for some diseases, like heart disease and stroke.  Many serious medical conditions can be found in their early stages by your dentist during a regular visit.

When You Are Pregnant

Pregnant women need to see the dentist as part of good prenatal care.  Infection in your mouth, especially gum disease, can affect your baby. There are links between gum disease in pregnant women and preterm birth. The risks of preterm birth for the baby include low birth weight, problems with learning, and a higher risk of cerebral palsy. Some studies show more than 15% of preterm births may be caused by gum disease.

Keeping babies healthy is why we support extra teeth cleanings for pregnant women. Tell your PCD if you are pregnant.  Your Delta Dental Smiles plan offers an extra cleaning FOR FREE.

If You Have Heart Disease

Teeth cleanings can lower the risk of heart attack and stroke. Studies show infection in the mouth may be linked to hardening of the arteries. Cleaning the teeth gets rid of the bacteria in the mouth that can lead to infection.  This prevents mouth infections from spreading to other parts of the body. Be sure to tell your PCD if you have heart disease.

If You Have Diabetes 

People with diabetes are more likely to get gum disease. There are many ways diabetes can affect the mouth.  A diabetic person may have a dry mouth because they make less saliva (spit). Saliva helps to protect the teeth, so people with a dry mouth often get more cavities.

Gums can become inflamed and bleed, increasing the risk of infections. Gum disease and infections can cause blood sugar to rise.  This makes it more difficult to control blood sugar. Regular dental visits can help improve blood sugar control as well as slow down the worsening of diabetes. Be sure to let you PCD know you have diabetes.

If You Have Periodontal Disease

People with Periodontitis (gum disease) need special dental care. Skipping dental care allows plaque (a sticky substance composed of germs on teeth) to build up and get below the gum line where a toothbrush can’t reach. Gums become swollen, may bleed and lead to other problems both in your mouth and body. Be sure to talk to your PCD about Periodontitis (gum disease) regularly once you know you have it.

Your Delta Dental Smiles plan offers extra cleanings for those diagnosed and treated for gum disease.