At Firouzian Dentistry, we are concerned about the oral health of all our patients. A healthy smile is the best foundation of a beautiful smile, not to mention your overall health, as we’ll discuss. There are some things you need to know in order to make the best decisions about your oral health–we’ll focus on seven of the most important facts you need to know.

For some people, it’s best to talk about these things in person. Columbus dentist Dr. Mike Firouzian is great at explaining complex dental concepts in simple terms, and if you’d rather sit down with him, we invite you to schedule an appointment and come on in. 

adult man flossing in the mirror

Not Everyone Needs to See the Dentist Twice a Year

Many people think it’s a recommendation that you should see your Columbus dentist twice a year. However, this is more of a suggestion or guideline. The truth is that people should get a dental checkup as often as is necessary to maintain good oral health. 

For many people, this is twice a year. For most people, that lets us clean your teeth of tartar buildup before it gets too ugly or too bad for your oral health. It also means we can spot tooth demineralization before it becomes a cavity and hopefully recommend oral hygiene changes that will protect your teeth. Or if it develops into a cavity, your Columbus dentist can treat it while it’s small. In addition, we can detect and treat gum disease before it gets too bad. 

However, some people might only need to see a dentist once a year. Especially people who are young and have oral healthy lifestyles can enjoy fewer dental visits. People who are older or have a record of oral health problems might benefit from more regular dental visits. 

Bleeding Gums Are Not Normal

A lot of people think that it’s normal for gums to bleed. However, your gums should not bleed spontaneously or in response to normal activities, like:

  • Eating
  • Flossing
  • Brushing your teeth

Your gums aren’t strong enough to chew food, but they should be strong enough to support your teeth in their role of chewing. They shouldn’t bleed when you eat. Nor should you regularly get food stuck in your gums, such as chips, popcorn hulls, and more. 

Flossing should also not make your gums bleed. They should be tough enough to withstand the pressure of flossing. 

Brushing your teeth should be done gently (more on this later), but if you’re using a gentle touch while brushing and your gums are still bleeding, that’s a problem. 

If any of these activities are making your gums bleed, it’s likely a sign of gum disease, which is otherwise a painless condition with few visible symptoms. Schedule an appointment with Columbus dentist Dr. Mike if you see symptoms of gum disease. In addition to traditional gum disease care, we offer Perio Protect treatment to combat periodontal pockets and stubborn gum disease. 

There’s More Than One Way to Floss

Flossing is an essential part of oral hygiene, but many people skip it. People often skip it because they hate dental floss. If that’s you, then we’ve got good news for you: there’s more than one way to floss. 

Yes, dental floss works great, and it comes in many different styles to help you find the one that works best for you: skinny floss, wide floss, different fibers, and even convenient disposable flossers. 

However, if you can’t find a floss you like, you can consider other options, such as interdental brushes–tiny brushes designed to go between your teeth–and water flossers like Water Pik. 

Research shows that these are all effective. The best one is the one that you will use regularly. 

Be Skeptical of “Natural” Teeth Whiteners

Believe us, if there were a good “natural” way to whiten your teeth, Columbus dentist Dr. Mike would recommend it. Although teeth whitening is common, it’s not such a super profitable service that we are jealously guarding it. If you can safely and effectively do it at home–as some people can with over-the-counter whiteners–we encourage you to do it. 

However, the internet is full of so-called teeth whitening hacks that let you “naturally” whiten your teeth. These include:

  • Brushing with strawberries
  • Rinsing with apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • Brushing with charcoal
  • Brushing with bentonite coal

These hacks not only don’t work–they can be seriously damaging to your teeth. The first two solutions contain acid that will eat away the precious enamel on your teeth. The last two are highly abrasive and will scrape away your enamel. 

This problem isn’t limited to internet hacks. Many kinds of toothpaste labeled as whitening or tartar control may also contain abrasive particles that make them damaging. If you are concerned about tooth discoloration, talk to Columbus dentist Dr. Mike. He’ll evaluate your teeth and let you know if your discoloration will respond to teeth whitening. He’ll recommend ways to brighten your teeth safely. 

Brushing Gently Is Best

Many people think that it’s important to brush really hard to get your teeth clean. However, this is not necessary. The material you’re trying to remove from your teeth–plaque–is about as hard as yogurt. Gentle brushing is all it takes to remove it. 

If you brush your teeth too aggressively–too often and too firmly–you can cause damage to teeth and gums. In fact, over-aggressive brushing is the leading cause of receding gums. Always brush your teeth gently. 

Brushing twice a day is sufficient for most people. If you want to brush more often, consider brushing without toothpaste those extra times. You’ll avoid exposing your teeth to too much abrasion. 

Your Oral Health Is Linked to Overall Health

Although we go to a different health professional for oral health, it’s not really disconnected from your overall health. Your mouth is the gateway to your body, and everything in your mouth enters your system, often with serious consequences. There are numerous ways oral bacteria can affect your overall health, including worsening diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, and more. 

Dr. Mike is very aware of these connections and practices holistic dentistry in Columbus, trying to make sure that everything we do in your mouth promotes the health of your entire body. 

Marijuana Is Not an Alternative to Relaxation Dentistry

Currently, Ohio allows medicinal marijuana and is considering plans to legalize marijuana use among adults. However, that does not mean that it’s a good idea to get high before you come to the dentist’s office. 

There are many problems with trying to use marijuana to relax at the dentist. It’s hard to get the dosage right, and it may interfere with local anesthesia, making it hard to get numb. It can also lead to anxiety.

Instead, if you have dental anxiety, we recommend sedation dentistry. If you are looking for a more natural solution, we also offer drug-free relaxation dentistry with NuCalm

Taking Care of Oral Health in Columbus

If you are overdue for a dental appointment or have other concerns about your oral health, let Columbus dentist Dr. Mike Firouzian help. 

Please call (614) 848-5001 or use our online form to request an appointment at Firouzian Dentistry, located in the Crosswoods neighborhood of Columbus.