Teeth are valuable. In fact, your mouth’s economic value is worth more than $100,000, and that is on the low side.
An implant and implant crown, the most natural tooth replacement, cost between $4,000 and $5,000 each, and most people have 28 teeth in order to smile and chew well. It make sense to protect such a valuable asset.
Clean teeth and gums do not get decay or gum disease; it is as simple as that. Teeth will last a lifetime if certain things are done correctly.
- Teeth are cleaned correctly at least twice a day.
- They are not covered with sugar and soda on a daily basis.
- They are lined up correctly for good chewing and cleaning.
Teeth are different than the rest of your body. You can follow a doctor’s advice on prevention of diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer and improve your odds, but there are still no guarantees.
If one starts with healthy teeth and gums and keeps them 100 percent clean, decay and gum disease will not occur. I have been in the prevention business for more than 20 years and know this to be true.
Biofilm is a mat of bacteria that join together to make a protective, slick, slimy film. The bacteria are interlocked and form a wall that protects a vast community of bacteria underneath, kind of like a bacteria quilt – 10,000 layers thick. It is a sticky, messy mass of nastiness. Biofilm is everywhere, including commodes, slick river rocks, wet slick cement, etc.
One of the most known and most studied biofilms is dental plaque. The mass of different bacteria in dental plaque is the cause of both decay and gum disease. When free calcium, which exists in saliva, embeds itself in this mat-like film, the substance becomes rock hard and then is called calculus.
It is a complicated subject, so I am going to make it easy and simple: No biofilm on teeth or under the gums, no decay and no gum disease. These two infections cannot exist without biofilm.
Biofilm/plaque forms constantly on the teeth and gums, even when you do not eat. So if you want to be 100 percent disease free, you will want to clean teeth and gums at least twice a day, if not more.
My team and I have found that using a combination of the Sonicare toothbrush, water pick and dental floss is the very best regimen.
The Sonicare literally explodes the biofilm with its cleaning technique. The water pick removes food debris that feed the plaque, and the floss removes the plaque in between the teeth. If you are not using a water lavage and floss, you are not effectively cleaning 40 percent of all your teeth.
Like any health goal, it is best to have a knowledgeable coach, one who can give you a customized regimen because everyone and every mouth is different, and therefore, has different needs. Dentists and hygienists truly care about you preventing disease. Let them know what your dental goals are so they can help you achieve them.
For 20 years, I have found the following to be 99.9 percent true: If the dentistry is done right, meaning there are no places for food and plaque to form, and if the patient keeps gums and teeth perfectly clean, there will be no infection.
Of course, the key is to start when teeth first erupt during the formative years. If so, you will have children who will be decay-free for the rest of their lives. Now that is a great goal!