At Hedgecock Dental, we believe prevention is the best medicine. We would much rather see you twice yearly for your regular exams and cleanings, than not see you for a while and have to treat gum disease or extensive decay.
A little bit of oral hygiene every day, combined with regular visits to your Austin dentist is all it takes to prevent more painful and costly oral health problems down the road.
Your regular exams include a thorough evaluation for periodontal health, a check for tooth decay (dental caries), as well as screening for any abnormalities or changes including oral cancer. Our goal is to prevent oral health problems, and to treat them before they become problematic.
We promise it’s not just something your dentist says to torture you; oral hygiene – regular brushing and flossing – really is the most important factor when it comes to oral health. You should brush your teeth thoroughly at least twice every day, ideally after eating or drinking. You should floss your teeth every night before bed to remove hard to reach plaque stuck between teeth that brushing alone cannot.
It’s not only about brushing and flossing! Did you know that it takes about 20 minutes for your saliva to neutralize after eating or drinking, especially more acidic or sugary foods or beverages. Therefore, the best way to keep your saliva at a neutral pH is to avoid frequent snacking (“grazing”) or sipping on beverages throughout the day. The best advice is to sip on water (avoiding bottled waters which are generally more acidic) and trying to minimize the number of times you eat throughout the day. Rinsing with tap or filtered water after snacking and following with a sugar-free, xylitol-containing gum can help bring the pH of your saliva back to neutral.
While oral home care is a great start, regular twice yearly professional cleanings at your Austin dentist are the only way to remove plaque that’s hardened into tartar, which is the main cause of gum disease. Let our hygiene team be the one to give you the most gentle, yet most thorough dental cleaning you’ve ever had. If you have gum disease, you should come in more frequently for cleanings to prevent further damage to your gums and underlying bone.
Do your gums bleed easily during regular brushing and flossing? Do you have chronic bad breath even though you brush often? Have your gums started to recede, or do your teeth appear longer than before? Over half of the American adult population suffers from some form of gum disease, and you may be one of them without even realizing it.
Left untreated, gum disease can not only cause tooth loss, but can significantly increase your risk for serious systemic diseases like heart disease, stroke and diabetes. The good news is, the dentists at Hedgecock Dental are experienced in providing periodontal therapy, or gum disease treatment in Austin.
As your oral health care professionals, one of our most important jobs is to regularly screen our patients for oral cancer. Oral cancer is unfortunately on the rise in the United States, and 25% of oral cancer patients have no risk factors. The good news is, when caught in the early stages, it doesn’t have to be deadly.
We are, and you should always be on the lookout for any changes or abnormalities in your mouth that may be a potential sign of oral cancer. Any lumps or tissue abnormalities anywhere inside the mouth or throat are worthy of contacting your Austin dentist and scheduling a screening. It might just save your life.
If you or your little one is involved in any type of contact sports, or you clench and grind your teeth, we are happy to offer custom mouth guards at Hedgecock Dental. Custom mouth guards offer a more personalized, comfortable fit, and a higher level of protection against oral injuries and concussions.
If you don’t play sports, but you suffer from chronic bruxism or teeth grinding and clenching, a custom mouth guard can significantly soften the impact every night. This takes the stress off of your TMJ, and prevents the wearing down of your teeth over time. Your smile is one of your greatest assets, protect it with a custom mouth guard from Hedgecock Dental!