If you haven't seen your dentist much this year, you may be wondering when scheduling an appointment should take precedence over staying home. By keeping an eye on your teeth and gums at home, as well as brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, you can take care of potential problems early on before they become larger issue. Here are some of the most common signs that going to the dentist is in your teeth's best interest!
Home Dental Health Tips Using Your Mirror
Many details about the health of your teeth and gums can be determined by simply looking in the mirror. Your gums should be a light to medium shade of pink, firm, and fit snugly against your teeth without any gaps. If you notice red, spongy, or painful gums, gums that recede away from your teeth, or white spots on your teeth or gums, it's probably time to see a dentist to discuss possible early signs of tooth decay or gum disease.
Things to Look For When Brushing Your Teeth
Brushing your teeth can also reveal signs that it's time to see a dentist. Bleeding gums, one of the most common signs of gingivitis, are especially likely to be present while you are brushing your teeth, and pain or sensitivity while or shortly after brushing your teeth can often be handled by trying a new type of toothpaste.
Excessive plaque buildup can become visible in the form of white spots on your teeth, which is often very difficult to remove with a regular toothbrush. It is generally a good idea to have your teeth professionally cleaned once you start to notice visible plaque, especially if you have braces or other orthodontic work in your mouth.
Things to Look For When Eating and Sleeping
Excessive sensitivity when eating or drinking hot or cold foods can be a sign of tooth decay or other dental problems. Jaw pain while chewing, particularly while eating especially chewy foods, is also something that should be looked at. If you often experience pain while enjoying your favorite ice cream, coffee, or taffy, your dentist can help you determine the cause of the problem and make recommendations about possible next steps.
Paying attention to how your mouth feels first thing in the morning can also give you clues about your oral health. Waking up with a stiff or painful jaw may indicate that you are grinding or clenching your teeth while you are sleeping. If you suddenly find yourself biting or cutting your tongue, especially while you are eating or sleeping, your teeth may be chipped or moving, which can indicate a more serious problem.
Although we know that many of our patients are trying to avoid leaving home as much as possible this fall, it's important to remember that not everything should be put on hold. If you have been experiencing painful teeth, gums, or jaws, bleeding gums, or other warning signs of possible oral health problems, it is a good idea to see your dentist sooner, rather than later, to avoid more serious problems down the road.
Now that various restrictions and closures have been going on for approximately six months, we also recommend coming in if it has been more than 6-12 months since your last regular cleaning.
We're Here to Help!
At Today's Dental, we are taking every possible precaution to keep patients throughout the Omaha area safe while visiting our offices, and treating potential dental problems and long term maintenance of your oral health should not be put off indefinitely. Contact us today to learn more about our services and current policies or to schedule an appointment!