Bacteria: The bad, the gross and the preventable

Last time we talked about bad bacteria in our mouths. Let’s talk about that a little more.

We all have bacteria in our mouths some are good and some are bad. We begin to have dental problems when we allow the bad bacteria to get out of control.

Bad bacteria are the cause of all the dental conditions you never want to hear coming out of your dentist’s mouth. Plaque, calculus, gingivitis, gum disease (periodontitis), cavities, pulpitis (irritation of the area where the blood vessels and nerves of the tooth are located), infection, or abscess. These conditions are treatable, but they are also PREVENTABLE.

I know all of these conditions make you think Ugggggghhhhh, because they sound gross or painful, and that is because they are gross and can be very painful. But just think, you can stop this from ever happening  by brushing twice daily, flossing once a day and using the right mouthwash.

Get more tips for great oral care from our friends at Colgate.

Why come to the dentist office? We’ll tell you.

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We have been introducing you to our dentists and now we would like to introduce and welcome you to our offices – which are open to anyone seeking dental health.

What does oral health mean? It means limiting or controlling the bad bacteria we all have in our mouths. You – the patient – play the most important role in limiting this bacteria, but we are here to support you in this fight.

There are things we can do in our office that you cannot do at home like:

  • Take X-rays to see what is going on between your teeth
  • Take important bone measurements
  • Diagnose areas that need treatment
  • Fill cavities
  • Perform specialized cleanings

What you can do at home is the most important thing. That means brush two times a day, floss one time daily, and use a mouthwash that kills bacteria and contains fluoride. Most people brush daily but do not floss.

As our dental director, Dr. LaJuan Mountain always says:

“Brushing but not flossing is just like showering, but not washing your armpits. You have to floss to clean in between your teeth because it can be the smelliest part of your mouth if left untouched.”

So it is important that you do your job at home and you see a dentist on a regular basis to allow them to do their job – which is helping you get or keep your dental health.

Let’s talk facts about children’s dental health

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LaJuan Mountain, our York dental director, was one of three dentists working on 93 children at VIDA Charter School in Gettysburg recently. Kids are screened for problems and notes are sent home with the goal of getting these kids into a dental home with routine, preventative care.

We’ve shown you our numbers – that out of 1,887 York County kids, our Kids Against Cavities staff found 2,351 cavities in 2015.

In our second Pre-K Counts visit of 2016, we screened 27 kids and found 87 cavities. In an hour and a half last week, we screened 93 kids at VIDA Charter School in Gettysburg.

We hope these numbers shock you. And then we ask you to help. With just the donation of $25, you can get 10 kids toothbrushes and toothpaste. 10 kids. Last week, I saw more than 10 kids who straight up told me they did not brush their teeth. Many said they didn’t have time. Maybe they just forget. One third grader told me her sister threw her toothbrush out and her parents hadn’t bought a new one.

They wouldn’t buy her a new toothbrush – something you could get at the dollar store. It’s something that just blows my mind because brushing my teeth twice a day is something my parents have always taught me. Many of the people I’ve talked to about our Kids Against Cavities program agree and are just as flabbergasted. And yet, grateful that it’s something we just grew up doing. We were taught it was important. Continue reading