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In our experience, people don’t give much thought to their dental health, unless there’s a cosmetic concern or they’re in pain. Here at Oceanview Dental, our ambition is to help our patients preserve their smiles by maintaining excellent oral health. Sometimes practicing great oral hygiene is simply a matter of having a better understanding of it. To this end, below we’ve included seven important terms that everyone should know.

1. Gingivitis — An inflammation of gum tissue that makes it red, swollen and likely to bleed. On the gum disease spectrum, gingivitis is relatively mild and can be treated with daily brushing and flossing, as well as a regular cleaning at our office.

2. Periodontal Disease — An infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. If your gums bleed easily or they are red, swollen, or tender, then you may have periodontal disease (also known as gum disease). Another sign of periodontal disease is if your gums recede or pull away from your teeth.

3. Plaque — A very sticky film of bacteria that is always developing on your teeth. When you eat sugary food or drinks, there are bacteria in plaque that produce acids which attack and destroy your tooth enamel, the layer that protects your teeth.

4. Sealant — A thin, plastic material that is painted onto the chewing surfaces of the molars (back teeth). Sealants provide a protective coating that helps to preserve tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay.

5. Whitening — A process of lightening the color of the teeth in an attempt to make them appear whiter and brighter. Oceanview Dental recommends one of three types of teeth-whitening procedures: laser or light whitening, gel whitening or at-home whitening. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry reports that 96 percent of adults believe that a healthy smile makes a person more appealing to members of the opposite gender. A bright smile is often perceived to be a healthy smile. Many patients seek to achieve this brighter appearance through bleaching.

If you haven’t thought much about your dental health, then we’d recommend that you come and visit us. Our gentle and compassionate staff will take good care of you. Feel free to call 760.433.0393 to schedule an appointment.