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Preventing Dental Disease

May 16th, 2013

Perhaps no group of diseases is so widespread as dental diseases.  Dental problems are responsible for more missed days of school and work than any other reason. In many populations here in the United States, dental disease is epidemic in the general population.  Yet, with all this commonly recognized, the problems often go unchallenged.  Such problems continue due to poor dental education level, inadequate access to care, and factors like oral hygiene and diet.
The best dental treatment is no treatment at all.  By preventing disease we can avoid the damage done by tooth decay and periodontal disease.  So, how to proceed?  Well the obvious comes first.  Proper oral hygiene involves brushing and flossing every day.  Brushing for 2 minutes, twice a day is the current minimum recommended level (think two times two).  A new toothbrush twice a year and just a small amount of toothpaste is your only investment other that the time.  Flossing at least once a day is best, but substituting other products to clean between teeth may suffice if floss is too hard to handle.
Let’s face it, your total health relies on a healthy diet.  Limiting excess sugars and snacking will help keep you generally healthy as well as help in promoting dental health.  It’s not just how much sugar, but how often.  Constantly sipping high carbohydrate drinks or snacking on sugary foods will promote further dental problems.
Don’t think you can afford a dental visit?  Check with your local dental society about other options.  You might want to check out the clinic at Hudson Valley Community College.  They train dental hygienists and provide basic exams, xrays and cleanings for qualified patients.  The fee schedule is based on the patient’s ability to pay and the care provided is excellent.
You may also talk to your dental office staff about your particular problems and how to best address them.  An individualized plan will help to control disease and cost of care.  Not everyone’s dental needs are the same, so plans can vary.  You need to be as well informed as possible to help minimize your risks.

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