How Pregnancy Affects Your Oral Health

  • By Blog Owner
  • 17 Aug, 2017
Pregnancy affects nearly every aspect of a woman's life, which includes her oral health. Although there are many changes during the time of pregnancy, however, it is incredibly important to take care of your mouth during these nine months. This article will help to explain issues women face especially when pregnant.

Pregnancy Gingivitis
Most women who are pregnant notice changes regarding there gums during this time. Some women notice that their gums look redder and bleed when they brush their teeth. And some women have severe swelling and bleeding. This condition tends to peak around the eighth month of being pregnant. To minimize the effects of pregnancy gingivitis, it is crucial to practice good oral hygiene such as brushing twice a day for at least two minutes each time, flossing every day, and using an antimicrobial mouth rinse can help to control gum inflammation. Some dentists suggest using rinses that doesn't contain any alcohol, however, it is not clear whether alcohol-based rinses have a negative effect on pregnancy.

Tooth Erosion
Women who experience severe morning sickness during pregnancy can often times notice the back of the front of their teeth losing enamel. Frequent vomiting can erode the enamel on your teeth, so it is important not to brush right away after you vomit, since the acid in your mouth will only help erode the teeth as you brush. Before brushing, try to rinse with a mixture of baking soda and water, or a commercial rinse designed to reduce the acid level of your mouth.

Dry Mouth
Many pregnant women complain about dry mout. Dry mouth can be less severe by drinking plenty of water and by using sugarless hard candies or gum to stimulate saliva secretion to help keep the mouth moist.

Excessive Saliva
Although this is less common during pregnancy, women sometimes feel as though they have too much saliva in their mouths. This condition is more likely to occur during the early stages of pregnancy. This condition should lessen after the end of the first trimester.

If you’re already brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between your teeth once a day, keep up the good work! If not, there’s no better time to start. Poor oral health habits during pregnancy have been associated with premature delivery, intrauterine growth restriction, gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Talk to your dentist about your routine and if you should make any changes. If you have any questions regarding your oral health during pregnancy, or would like to schedule an appointment, you are welcome to book an appointment with us by calling (802) 427-3235. Stop by our dentist office and Dr. Scott Bedell and the rest of the team at Scott T. Bedell Dental Associates PC will give you the information and treatment you need!

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By Blog Owner 30 Nov, 2017
1) Brushing Twice a Day Helps to Keep the Cavities Away
If you want to prevent cavities you must brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. Brushing properly will remove plaque before it builds up. Flossing has the ability to get in between the teeth where the toothbrush cannot reach. Keeping up these good habits will prevent cavities and even gum disease.

2) Dental Check Ups Include Oral Cancer Screenings
One of the reasons it is important to go in for regular dental check ups is because they are screening your mouth for any suggestion of oral cancer. Oral cancer claims the lives of various individuals every hour of every day. Visiting your dentist routinely will be one of the best first defense against such a frequent and serious dental disease.

3) Gum (Periodontal) Disease Affects Your Overall Health
Gum Disease, also know as Periodontal Disease is one of the biggest reasons behind tooth loss in adults. In the earlier stages of gum disease it is called gingivitis. If caught during this time it can be taken care of instead of advancing to a more serious disease. If left untreated it turns into Periodontal Disease which can include bone loss. Brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist regularly is the best way to prevent this gum disease from taking over.

4) Dental Cleanings and Check Ups Are Extremely Important
One of the most essential ways to keep the mouth in good working order and free of any harmful ailments is by going in to regular check ups and cleanings. This can be your best defense against cavities, oral cancer, root canals, gum disease, and more. You should never wait until a problem props up to go in for a check up, but rather always make those appointments to regularly monitor and maintain your oral health.

5) Bad Breath Could be the Result of a Dental Problem
Who knew? Dental problems can be the culprit behind bad breath. There are about 85 percent of people that are suffering with bad breath and have a dental problem without even knowing it. If this is the case mouthwash and chewing gum will only hide the sent temporarily. You must get down to the cause to permanently remove this persistent problem. Talking to your dentist can be the best way to figure out the cause together.

6) Proper Nutrition is Important for Good Dental Health
Good dental health can still be compromised if the patients overall heath isn't up to speed. The body works together to do it's best protect it's parts such as the mouth from being inflicted with a negative attribute. Drinking sodas and eating other non-nutritional foods along with the bacteria in your mouth can be the perfectrecipe to produce acids that attack the enamel. This can lead to cavities and then gum disease. Try limiting sugary foods and drinks to help your body help your oral health.

7) Dental Problems Do Not Get Better or Go Away Without Treatment
An important factor to remember is that dental problems don't go away on their own. If you or your dentist notice that there is a something conflicting your oral heath you must take the measures to treat it. For example, cavities can build up and effect the nerves in your gums. This is where a once small problem turns into a big problem, because this can mean a root canal will have to be preformed or a tooth with have to be extracted.

8) A Root Canal is Usually Not Painful
Many people believe the horror stories of how root canals can be very painful. With today's technology the procedure isn't more pain then a filling. Some believe it is better to just pull the tooth then have a root canal, because they have heard it can be less painful. That isn't always the case, so remember to discuses with your dentist the best possible procedure for your mouth.

9) Change Your Toothbrush
One thing that many don't think about is the fact that toothbrushes do wear out and harbor bacteria. You should regularly replace your toothbrush with a new one every 3 months. If you do happen to have gum disease it is best to change your tooth brush every 4-6 week, due to the amount of bacteria that resides in the bristles. The best way to take care of your tooth brush is by rinsing it under hot water after every use and throwing it out after an illness.

10) Maintaining Good Dental Health is Easy
There are those who believe that maintaining good oral health takes a lot of work. If you achieve brushing and flossing daily along with seeing the dentist regularly and keeping a nutritional diet you are already on the right path. This along with correcting any problems that might come up is the best way to protect your oral and overall heath.

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By Blog Owner 17 Nov, 2017
Nail Biting
The Habit: Nail biting is habit that usually starts out of nervousness and it can inflict tooth and jaw damage for quite some time. This can happen when the position your jaw protrudes while biting your nails and it can then result in jaw dysfunction.
The Solution: A really good way to break this habit is by using a bitter-tasting nail polish on the nails. This will remind you each time you put your hands in your mouth that it is not worth the damage that can be caused. Reducing stress when certain triggers are set off and holding something in your hand will also help you stop this act.

Brushing Too Hard
The Habit: Although brushing for two minutes twice a day is a good habit to form, it is not good if you are brushing too hard. By pushing down on the brush too firmly your gums can get irritated and eventually recede.
The Solution: Choose toothbrushes that are considered soft and do you best to use lighter strokes while brushing. Something to think of when brushing is you should be massaging your teeth, not scrubbing.

Grinding and Clenching
The Habit: Grinding and clenching can eventually wear teeth down and even cause your teeth to crack or chip. If it is done during sleep it may result in next day tenderness in the jaw and teeth sensitivity.
The Solution: A great way to combat this habit is by trying to stay relaxed and recognize that you grind and clench your teeth together in the first place. During night use a mouth guard. This will add a layer between your teeth and protect them from potential breakage and a sore jaw the next day.

Chewing Ice Cubes
The Habit: A very common habit is chewing ice cubes and although this may seem harmless it may be the cause of a broken tooth or missing filling. Chewing ice is like hitting two hard substances together and eventually one of them breaks.
The Solution: To best avoid the habit of chewing ice, drink your beverages without ice. Although ice chewing may seem tempting, remember that it is never worth the risk that can come with it.

Constant Snacking
The Habit: Eating sugary foods and drinks throughout the day might be the cause of your cavities. This is because when food and/or drinks is consumed multiple times a day without being brushed off in between, the leftover particles in the mouth will become bacteria producing acid that eventually does damage on your enamel.
The Solution: The best way to avoid snacking on these sugar foods and drinks is by eating balanced meals three times a day. If you still find yourself craving something in between meals try to go for low fat and non sugar based snacks.

Using Your Teeth As Tools
The Habit: Using your teeth as tools can be a very damaging habit. When you do this instead of reaching for the proper tool for the job, you may end up cracking a tooth or injuring your jaw.
The Solution: Instead of using your mouth use actual tools that were made for the job. Your teeth were made for breaking down food not tearing a piece of plastic.
By Blog Owner 09 Nov, 2017
There are may reasons you may need a dental crown procedure. Some of the reasons may include a discolored tooth, a weak tooth that needs some extra help staying together, or another cosmetic reason.

Crowns come in many different materials. The materials used in the crown may be resin, porcelain, ceramic, and even stainless steel. Each crown can have their own pros and cons. Your dentist may weigh the options and make a recommendation according to what best suits your needs.

The crown procedure is usually preformed in two increments. The first one is the examination of your tooth to be sure the tooth can hold a crown. It is then filed down to prepare the tooth for the crown placement. If the tooth happens to be severely broken or damaged in some way the tooth may have to be filled in order for it to be properly fitted with the crown.

Once the tooth is properly filed, filled, and shaped the dental professional will take an impression of the tooth and the teeth that surround it. They will then send the impression to a lab to have the crown made for a permanent fitting. In the meantime their will be a temporary crown placed where the tooth has been filed down to protect it until the permanent crow is made.

During your second visit the crown will now be ready to be permanently placed. Your temporary crown will be removed and the new crown will be properly adhered to the tooth.

After completion there may be a stretch of time to fully get used to the new crown. Eventually the crown should feel essentially natural residing in your mouth. At this time if you have any questions about your new crown be sure to ask your dentist.

If you are thinking about getting a dental crown installed in your mouth, feel free to call Scott T. Bedell Dental Associates at (802) 427-3235.

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By Blog Owner 06 Nov, 2017
What Is Tooth Plaque?
Everyone has plaque no matter how apparent it might seem. Plaque is biofilm which has a very sticky tactile feel. It is formed on a day to day basis on teeth and gums not long after brushing them. Foods that can accelerate the increase of plaque bacteria are high sugar based foods such as candies, cakes, and even fruit. Plaque can often lead to other issues in the mouth including gum disease and gingivitis. These reasons make it exceedingly important to make sure your teeth are being protected by taking these following steps to treat and prevent plaque.

What Does Plaque On Teeth Look Like?
Plaque color can range from virtually colorless to a pale yellow. If the plaque is colorless it can be harder to recognize. The feeling of plaque can seem almost fuzzy against your tongue. Seeing that plaque is very difficult to detect at times, it is crucial that you do your best to have good hygiene and always go to your 6 month dentist cleaning appointments.

What Causes Plaque?
The cause of plaque is a combination of food, fluids, and saliva. These substances then make a nutrition that feeds bacteria in the mouth. The bacteria grows and forms on the teeth and around the gums. The foods that contribute to this growth are simple sugars and carbohydrates.

Why Is Plaque Harmful?
The main reason plaque is harmful to your teeth and overall oral health is because the bacteria that is prevalent produces acid and that acid then hurts the tooth enamel. If nothing is done about the invading plaque it can eventually result in gingivitis and other harmful issues.

What Does Plaque Have To Do With Tartar?
Tartar is what plaque turns into if allowed to harden on the teeth after 24 to 72 hours. This process happens when the minerals in the saliva become deposited in the biofilm of plaque. Plaque can be removed at home, but tarter needs to be removed by a dental professional. Getting rid of the plaque before it harden is the best way to prevent tarter build up.

Choosing an anti-plaque fluoride toothpaste, flossing, not smoking, and using mouthwash can reduce the risk of increased plaque and tarter. 

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By Blog Owner 27 Oct, 2017
Gingivitis is one of the first signs and stages of gum disease. There are several warning signs, but they can often go unnoticed. Many who have gingivitis don't realize they have it until a dental professional points it out to them. Many of the symptoms can be written off as being normal rather then something that shouldn't be happening within the mouth. Having good oral hygiene can be one of the best defenses against gingivitis, but keeping an eye out for any of these symptoms can prevent later damage to your teeth and gums. By learning these signs, gingivitis can be treated and later prevented to protect your mouth from progressive forms of gum disease.

What Are The Signs Of Gingivitis?

Bad Breath
Yes that's right, bad breath can be one of the main warning signs of this gum disease. While many would assume bad breath is caused simply by bad oral care, it can be from a concentration of bacteria-producing chemicals. Often times food that gets stuck between the teeth can cause a foul smell. In many cases this bad breath can be cured by taking the time to floss and brush daily.

Irritated Gums
Another overlooked sign of gingivitis are swollen, red, and inflamed gums. Gums become irritated because plaque becomes built up between the teeth and gums and this plaque releases toxins that make the gums sensitive to the touch. The toxins that build up in the space between the teeth and gum line is what can cause the resulting gum disease, gingivitis.

Bad Taste
The bad taste in the mouth can go hand in hand with bad breath. This pair is the result of having food or other particles left to breakdown in the mouth. Sometimes this bad taste is also apparent because of the accumulated bacteria in the back of the throat. Bad taste often leads back to gingivitis, because it can usually be prevented by good oral health.

Bleeding while brushing or flossing
Gingivitis can cause bleeding while brushing or flossing, because the plaque that builds up between the teeth and gums, hardens and irritates the gum line when there is contact with a toothbrush or floss.

All the symptoms of gingivitis become a force attacking your mouth and make the issue with this gum disease even worse. On top of these not so pleasant symptoms, if left untreated gingivitis can manifest into a worse disease called periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is very serious and can lead to detrimental problems with tooth loss and certain conditions of the heart, among other issues. Always keep an eye on what is happening to your oral health and the seemly small issues you may have within the mouth. Sometimes such symptoms like bad breath can be overlooked, but it is always good to check with a dental professional. Here at Scott T. Bedell DDS Dental Associates, P.C. we can help prevent any of these harmful diseases from taking over your oral health. Call us to schedule an appointment at (802) 427-3235.

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By Blog Owner 19 Oct, 2017
As the holiday season approaches avoiding the not so healthy sweets and treats is often hard to do, but here are some tips to avoid the cavities that can potentially come with certain foods and beverages.

Timing matters
Most everything someone consumes is fine in moderation, but the high sugar foods can be less of a risk to your oral heath if enjoyed shortly after or with meals. This is due to the increase of saliva production during a meal. This saliva then cancels out the bacteria and particles caused by the sweets.

Be picky if it's sticky
When choosing which foods can be healthiest for our nutritional well being we tend to think of fruit as being a health option. Many times people reach for dried fruits as a healthy and delicious snack without considering it's sticky factor. These dried fruits can actually be the cause of some oral cavities, because they tend to stick around a little longer, literally. Be sure to rinse your mouth out if you tend to reach for this snack often.

Limit your alcohol intake
During this time of the year the sweet and tasty drinks such as egg nog tends to be the choice of the season. Unfortunately these types of drinks can often dry out your mouth causing oral problems in your future. If you choose to partake, be sure to wash them down with a glass of water after.

Take it easy on the hard candies
Candies in general are not the best for your teeth, but hard candies in particular can cause issues due to the large amount of sugars in them. These hard candies also tend to be a hazard because they can break and chip teeth, causing the loss of enamel. Another food that puts your teeth at risk for these chips are nuts, so be careful with those as well.

Watch out for starchy foods
A food that we tend to not think of as a harmful consumption for your teeth is starchy foods. These foods can end up between your teeth and staying there until they are flossed out. Be cautious with how long you decide to go without flossing.

You can still have fun
Sometimes it is hard to do your best when choosing what to eat and what to avoid during this tempting season. Although there are foods to try and avoid, there is still a lot that won't risk your oral health. Choosing lean proteins such as lean beef or fish and switching up your diet can do wonders to your overall health. Whole grains and fat-free or low-fat dairy foods can also be a better choice for your teeth. There are several ways of enjoying the holidays and having a healthy smile at the same time.

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By Blog Owner 13 Oct, 2017
In today's market of dental products there is a wide variety to choose from. Knowing just what will suit your specific needs will allow for a healthy and comfortable experience when it comes to your daily mouth cleaning procedures.

There are many styles, sizes, shapes, and even bristles to choose from. Deciding which one will work best for your mouth can be overwhelming when checking out the toothbrush isle. Here are some tips to guide you to the best toothbrush to fit your needs:

  • Dental professionals tend to recommend a soft-bristle brush, because it preforms the best when tackling plaque and other debris from the teeth and gums. Along with the soft bristles, having small-headed brush can maneuver best when fitting into small crevices and reaching the back of the mouth which can be hard-to-reach.
  • Although the smaller the brush, the easier it can be to reach certain areas of the mouth, choose whatever size or style that is most comfortable for your mouth shape. 
  • Choosing a powered toothbrush can be a great option for those who are struggling to use the proper amount of force when brushing their teeth. This kind of toothbrush also allows someone with limited hand coordination to do a better job at brushing.
  • An important aspect to remember which is often overlooked, is the fact that a toothbrush wears out and gets old. Try to replace your toothbrush when wear becomes apparent or three months have past, whichever happens first. 
  • Along with importance of choosing the right toothbrush for yourself, choosing the right toothbrush for your child is also an important factor to consider. Choosing the wrong kind of brush can potentially have negative consequences on the gums and overall mouth care. As an infant they should have a very small toothbrush and as the child grows, choosing a brush that is small and can fit properly and comfortably inside their mouth is important. 

Figuring out which kind of toothpaste you should use can seem confusing with the many comparative toothpastes that advertise enamel strength, whitening, cavity prevention, etc. Many of these toothpastes that advertise such offerings are great, but making sure your toothpaste selection includes fluoride is important. Unless you're allergic or your dentist suggests otherwise, choosing fluoride as an ingredient in your toothpaste will save your teeth from tooth decay, cavities, and sensitivity.

Mouthwashes and Mouth Rinses
Mouthwash and mouth rinse can sound very similar in comparison, but the actual ingredients that goes into them make them two completely different products. Mouthwashes are an anti-bacterial wash that can effectively control the amount of plaque and bad breath germs that consist in the mouth. Mouth rinse is what contains fluoride. Fluoride is what coats the teeth to strengthen them and prevent cavities and decay. Be weary that some mouthwashes contain alcohol as an ingredient. This is not a good substance for children to have in their wash. Always check the label for warnings and ingredients to avoid, to prevent your child from coming in contact with something that could be harmful.

Flossing is an important part of keeping good oral heath, but unfortunately it is one of the biggest overlooked daily regimens out there. Reminding yourself and your children to floss daily will be one of the best preventative measures against debris and other unwanted substances between the teeth. Like toothbrushes, floss also comes in many different types to choose from. It is available to different styles, flavors, and sizes which can determine what kind of floss you would prefer. For those with little mobile dexterity there are floss holder options which allows the user to better reach far back teeth and angles.

Water Irrigation Devices
Water irrigation devices can be a very helpful tool when it comes to removing particles in and between the teeth. Although this tool isn't mandatory it can be a great device for those having trouble with excess pressure on and around the gums. It can eliminate gingivitis, bleeding, and plaque. This tool can also be helpful for those with certain orthodontic appliances such as braces.

Don't be overwhelmed next time you go to choose a dental product. Reflect on your personal needs and decide what will be the best fit for your overall oral health.

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By Blog Owner 29 Sep, 2017
Heart disease is the biggest reason for deaths among men and women in the U.S. This disease has taken over 600,000 lives each year and is continuing to be the number one reason why people are cautious when determining their heart health. Research has brought light to the connection between this deadly disease and gum health.

The connection between the two shows an outstanding increase of heart attacks. According to the Karolinska University Hospital there is a 28% risk of heat attacks due to those affected with gum disease.

This finding of whether one causes the other to result is not a yet a fact but rather a warning to suggest a strong connection between the two. Some of the risk factors that are involved coincide with one another. These risk factors are said to include poor nutrition, diabetes, and smoking. Periodontal disease is also said to be the reason behind inflammation that then causes the condition.

Prevention is the best medicine

Having healthy day to day habits can greatly decrease the chances of developing these diseases. If one or more of these diseases are already apparent, these healthy habits can lower the amount of impact they have.

  • Brushing and flossing the teeth. It is important to remove plaque and bacteria from the mouth. By brushing and flossing twice a day the risk of such diseases goes down.
  • Having a health diet. By choosing good nutrition and lowering the amount of starches and sugars will have positive effects on the overall health of the body. 
  • Quitting smoking. Smoking habits are a big factor when it comes to the state of the gums and the heart. Eliminating this from the everyday routine can greatly decrease the chance of having gum and heart conditions down the road.

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By Blog Owner 21 Sep, 2017
Many studies have shown that cardiovascular disease affects heart and or blood vessels. In the United States more than 50 million people experience cardiovascular problems and cardiovascular disease and has found to be the number one cause of death or disability. Typically by the time heart problems are found, the problem is quite advanced. Prevention through the modification of risk factors, such as a healthy diet, exercise, and not smoking is key to reducing the chances of heart disease.

Recent studies have shown that periodontitis may be associated with the development of cardiovascular disease, also known as heart disease. There have been several theories developed regarding the connection between periodontitis and cardiovascular disease. One theory being that the inflammatory proteins and the bacteria in the periodontal tissue enter the blood stream and cause various effects on the cardiovascular system. A study behind this theory was done in which several hundred subjects were tested. After this study, investigators concluded that an increased level of blood vessel thickening was associated with the presence of the same bacteria found in dental plaque known to cause periodontitis.

Many aspects of a persons health should be considered when assessing ones periodontal status and coming up with a treatment plan. For people at risk of developing or people with pre-existing cardiovascular disease, some critical factors to consider may include how severe the disease is; the duration of the disease; the presence of other medical conditions; and the presence of coexisting risk factors for periodontal diseases.

Reducing bacteria and eliminating bio-film above and below the gum line are essential to oral and overall health. This can be accomplished with traditional scaling and root planing in addition to excellent oral care at home. Oral hygiene instructions are an important part of the treatment plan for all patients, particularly for high-risk patients, such as those with cardiovascular disease.

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By Blog Owner 08 Sep, 2017
Throughout life oral hygiene is important for one's overall health no matter what age they're at. Over the years dental care routines might change depending on one's specific needs, but proper mouth care will always be important. Whether one has pearly whites or missing teeth here and there, the mouth should still be cared for.

Fluoride Is Still Important
Fluoride is taken first as a young child to prevent cavities and other kinds of decay that can naturally form in one's mouth. As someone ages these fluoride habits shouldn't subside, but stay consistent day to day. Those who are 50 or over are at an increased risk for developing such formations in the mouth. The use of fluoride combined with brushing and flossing twice a day can be the ultimate aid against cavities and other harmful mouth conditions.

Watch Out for Dry Mouth
Dry mouth can be a common issue in those who are older. Although age isn't necessarily the only reason for developing dry mouth, it is something to watch for as one climbs to their fifties. Certain medications or a chronic condition can increase someone's risk for dry mouth. On top of cavities dry mouth can affect someone's lifestyle greatly. It can harm someone's dentures and even cause chafing between the gums and the dentures themselves.

Figuring out the cause of this dry mouth is key. For example, if it caused by a certain medication, just adjusting the dosage might be the fix one is looking for to rid of this irritating symptom.

Caring for Your Dentures
Tooth loss can happen at any age, but even more so in those who are older. If one is in this group of people and using dentures as an aid, it is just as important to learn how to take care of their dentures as it is with any part of their mouth. Brushing should continue with the use of dentures. It is also important is make sure the toothpaste that is being used is specifically made for the dentures. Proper hygiene of the mouth, like brushing the gums and tongue is important to maintain an area free of bad bacteria and any sort of food partials before returning the dentures to their place in the mouth. Partial dentures can be a great choice for those who still have some teeth. In this case flossing between implants as well as brushing is highly important to make sure nothing is obstructing the denture placement. This also keeps harmful bacteria from becoming rampant. A dentist can give specific direction for how to take care of the different kinds of dentures.

Don't Forget about Gum Disease
No matter how many teeth are inside one's mouth, gum disease can always be a concern to someone at any age, but it is even more apparent in those who are 50 plus. Although gum disease is something someone older should be wary of, it doesn't have to inflict someone just because they are aging. Keeping up with proper mouth hygiene and making regular visits to a dentist can prevent it and treat it if it starts to form.

A mouth that is healthy is important at any age. Making sure daily habits are up to par, regular dentist visits are made, and tweaking certain routines as one ages will be the key to a happy and health smile.

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