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Do genetics play a role in the overall health of teeth?

If grandparents, parents, or siblings all seem to have had dental problems, you may be more likely to identify with their condition. However, for many patients the cycle of dental problems can be broken by following basic guidelines.

Brush daily with fluoridated toothpaste. This sounds simple enough, but it is not enough to just give this task a quick minute. Brushing twice daily for the full two minutes each time is healthy for teeth and gums. For patients susceptible to gum disease, an electronic tooth brush is recommended.

Flossing every day is as critical to dental health as brushing, if not more so. Flossing removes the food debris your tooth brush did not reach. In addition to helping keep plaque under control, gum tissue is stimulated by the flossing action.

Dental floss comes in many types and styles. Flavored, thick, thin, floss picks … whatever type you choose, daily use will help to keep teeth and gums healthy.

Seeing the dentist every six months has multiple advantages. Dental plaque that has built up since your previous visit is removed. Your dental provider can identify if you have problem areas by probing your gum tissue for depths of recession.

Depending on the pocket depths, you may be advised to undergo a deeper cleaning. If this occurs you may wish to return more frequently to have teeth cleaned. An anti-bacterial rinse may be advantageous for use.

Regular dental visits not only allow for consistent plaque removal, but teeth are polished to look their best. And regular dental exams allow for the discovery of oral problems before they have a chance to escalate into major costly and time consuming treatment.

Of course, some genetics may not be avoidable. Narrow jaws and large teeth can present problems that brushing and flossing cannot prevent. Crooked teeth present for more problems allowing for areas that are difficult to keep clean.

Family dentistry has many more options available today than ever before to help you to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Avoid tobacco use and limit sugary indulgences like soda, snacks, and treats. Drink plenty of water and get sufficient rest.

If it’s time to schedule your next dental exam and cleaning, contact the office of Dr. Barry Buchanan at 214-343-1818.