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Why Brush and Floss your Teeth?

January 22, 2013 in Dentistry by McCarl Dental Group

Tooth brushing is one of the first lessons of personal care that we learn as children – for many of us, brushing our teeth is one of the first “health habits” that we are taught in life. Brushing and flossing your teeth is the simplest and most cost-effective way to preserve your oral health and to enjoy a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

McCarl Dental Group’s First Dental Visits for Pediatric Dental Patients are Fun and Free! Pediatric Dentistry is part of our comprehensive dental care at McCarl Dental Group. A child’s first dental visit should be scheduled around his or her 3rd birthday.

The most important part of the visit is getting to know and becoming comfortable with a dentist and dental hygienist. We entertain our pediatric patients with a ride up and down in the dental chair.  Then we talk to them about opening wide so that we can shine a light into their mouth and count their teeth.  Next the child tests the water by using the “Mr. Thirsty” suction and rinsing their mouth in the chairside basin. Finally we use our beloved puppet “Choppers” to teach tooth brushing technique.

A fun and comfortable first dental visit builds trust and helps put children at ease during future dental visits.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that people brush their teeth twice every day – once at night before going to bed, and once in the morning. Brushing your teeth at night helps to remove bacteria and keeps your mouth clean while you sleep. Brushing your teeth in the morning helps freshen your breath and removes any bacteria that built up during the long night of sleep.

In addition to brushing your teeth twice a day, the ADA recommends that you floss once a day. Flossing is important because it allows you to clean in between your teeth – removing bacteria and plaque, and keeping your gums healthy. Flossing helps keep your gums in shape – if you don’t floss often enough, your gums might bleed, which, if you’re not careful, can be a sign of possible gum disease and infection.

Your oral health can be a reflection of your overall health. Sometimes the first sign of a disease shows up in your mouth. In other cases, infections in your mouth, known as periodontal disease, can cause problems in other areas of your body.

More than 75 percent of Americans over the age of 35 have some form of gum or periodontal disease.  Signs of periodontal disease include: bleeding gums when brushing or flossing; red, swollen or tender gums; loose teeth; persistent bad breath; or receding gums. Sometimes there are NO obvious signs of periodontal disease. That is why routine professional dental exams are so important to your overall health.

Periodontal disease ranges from simple gum inflammation, called gingivitis, to a more serious disease, called periodontitis that causes gum tissue to pull away from the teeth forming pockets that become infected. Periodontitis results in damage to the bone supporting your teeth, and ultimately the loss of your teeth.

Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection of the gums, and the byproducts of oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream. When oral bacteria escapes into the bloodstream it increases inflammation throughout the body and can injure major organs. Chronic inflammation is recognized as a significant factor in aging and disease.

Bacteria and inflammation from periodontal disease is associated with a number of serious health problems including:
•    Heart disease
•    Diabetes
•    Dementia
•    Rheumatoid arthritis
•    Premature birth

Joint replacements: Gum disease is a major risk for infections in your joints after joint replacement surgery. Maintaining healthy gums and teeth is critical for preventing serious problems in your new joints. Current guidelines recommend taking antibiotics before having your teeth cleaned and any necessary dental work. Be sure to list joint replacements on your medical history at your dental office. Antibiotics are also recommended prior to dental care for patients who have had heart valve replacement.

If you have symptoms of periodontal disease, please take it seriously and call McCarl Dental Group in Millersville at 410-987-8800 or our Greenbelt Dental Office at 301-474-4144  for a thorough dental exam! You can also schedule an appointment online at

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