When you know more about your mouth and all its parts, you’re likely to be more diligent in your dental health routine. Your dentist in Richardson TX, Dr. Coughlin, is here with more information regarding tooth anatomy and how to prevent decay and infection for a healthier smile.
The Tooth and All Its Parts
Each tooth is made up of two basic parts: the crown and the root. Within each, you find the enamel, dentin, pulp (or nerve) and the bone. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
Tooth Crown: What You See
When you think of a tooth, you’re probably thinking of the crown. It’s the visible, white portion of your smile. The crown is covered by white enamel, or the hard stuff that protects what’s inside. The enamel is also where cavities form when acids and bacteria aren’t fully removed with thorough brushing and flossing each day.
Dentin and Pulp: What’s Inside
Beneath your enamel lies the dentin and tooth pulp, also known as the “nerve.” Dentin is a thick, bone-like layer that supports the tooth enamel, and it’s what transmits signals to let you know when there’s a problem within the tooth.
The tooth pulp is the soft tissue at the very center of the tooth. Frequently called the nerve, the pulp contains all the things that make you feel your tooth — the blood vessels, lymph vessels and nerves, too. When decay reaches the tooth pulp, a root canal will likely be necessary.
Tooth Root: The Stabilizers
Your tooth is held in place by something you can’t see — the tooth’s root, which is attached to the bones in your mouth. Just as important as the roots of a tree, the root of a tooth helps you bite and chew with ease, and also keeps your jawbone healthy to prevent tooth loss and degeneration.
Preventing Decay and Infection
Good dental hygiene includes thoroughly cleaning around and on top of each and every tooth.
- Brushing: Make sure you’re brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoridated toothpaste for the best clean. If you have trouble reaching the two minute mark, try setting a timer until you’re used to what it feels like. Many electric toothbrushes also come with an automatic timer — that can be a smart investment.
- Flossing: Don’t skip out on the floss once you’ve brushed your teeth. There are some areas your toothbrush just can’t reach, and floss is crucial for getting a thorough clean. Make a habit out of flossing by placing the box in a place you’re sure to see each evening.
- Regular dental checkups and cleanings: Visit your family dentist in Richardson TX every six months for good preventive care. Cleanings and checkups help to keep problems like cavities and gum disease from occurring in the first place, and stopping them early when they do get the chance to develop.
When was your last visit to Breckinridge Dental? If it’s been more than six months, remember that your dental health relies on good preventive care. Why don’t you request an appointment online today? We’re the dentist families in Plano and Richardson trust with their smiles!