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Dentistry Determines Destiny

Don’t Overlook Oral Health when Making Resolutions

By Amy Morgan

 

Have you made a self-improvement New Year’s resolution? If you’re like most Americans – the thought has at least crossed your mind. What’s the first thing people notice about you – especially on-line or in pictures. Your smile!

 

Perhaps you overdid the red wine or coffee drinks over the holidays and want to spruce up your teeth. Shiny, healthy teeth and fresh breath are a real confidence booster. But even more important than cosmetic improvements, oral health has far-reaching impact.

 

“Patients come to us because they want a pretty smile,” said Michelle Alvarez, Lead Orthodontic Assistant at 7to7 Dental & Orthodontics. “But our main goal is not only straight, white healthy teeth, but a functional bite for a lifetime.”

Poor dental hygiene translates directly to dangerous medical complications. Gum disease caused by unchecked bacteria in the mouth has been linked to heart problems, respiratory infections, pregnancy complications, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis and even dementia. More immediately, an infection from a compromised tooth can abscess and travel internally to damage the heart or brain, which can lead to permanent disability.

Dental Hygienist Linda Lara enjoys educating patients about the connection between oral health and the rest of the body.

“Over accumulation of bacteria in the mouth relates to other problems,” she said. “I love to inspire patients to create a healthy lifestyle for themselves.”

Visiting the dentist for a cleaning and check every six months is an important habit to keep you healthy and stave off future problems.

 

“Coming to get cleanings is just like taking a car for an oil change – you wouldn’t wait 15,000 miles,” Linda added. “The mouth is the same way. We can identify if something is not healthy and address the problem before it gets bigger.” Regular X-rays can reveal spots on the teeth where the enamel is not as strong. A dental professional can apply fluoride and re-mineralize the teeth. This may prevent cavities and the need for a filling. “If we do need to fill, we still can prevent a more invasive and expensive crown or root canal.”

 

So schedule that checkup for you and your family members (including college students before they return to school). Dental professionals will look for decay or problems, screen for oral cancer (important for anyone who uses tobacco), clean, brighten, straighten or place crowns or veneers. And orthodontia has never been easier or more affordable. You can be satisfied you took a positive step toward your family’s overall health and check off an item on your resolution list!

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