Presbyterian | Your Story | Centennial Care | Spring 2024

8 Brush those teeth Brushing your teeth isn’t an exciting habit, but it’s a healthy one. Plus, daily brushing and flossing has its rewards. Taking good care of your teeth: • Reduces plaque. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that everyone has on their teeth. If too much plaque collects on your teeth, gum disease can develop. Gum disease can range from mild to severe. • Can keep cavities away. If left untreated, cavities can cause pain, tooth infection, and even tooth loss. • Can help the rest of your body stay healthier too. • Can boost your self-image and self‑esteem. Brush up on your oral care Try these tips to be a better brusher: • Brush your teeth twice a day. Use a soft toothbrush and toothpaste with fluoride. • Brush all the surfaces of your teeth. • Brush your tongue gently. This will get rid of bacteria and freshen your breath. Using a mouthwash with fluoride can also help remove bacteria from your mouth and keep your breath fresh. • Floss your teeth once a day. Flossing removes plaque from between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing is just as important as brushing. Visit your dentist regularly Take advantage of your dental benefits by seeing your dentist every six months (for kids) or 12 months (for adults) for checkups and cleanings. If you have cavities or other dental problems, the dentist will take care of them before they become severe. Your dentist and hygienist can show you the best way to brush and floss to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Good oral care isn’t hard, and it takes only a little time each day. It’s a healthy habit that pays off. Sources: Academy of General Dentistry; American Academy of Family Physicians; American Dental Association Rio Rancho dentist receives national honor Darlene Sorrell, DMD, was honored as a 2023 Health Equity Hero for her work in helping to improve oral health equity in the American Indian community. In her honor, Presbyterian’s dental health partner, DentaQuest, will be making a $5,000 donation to a charity of her choosing. Dr. Sorrell is a member of the Navajo Nation. She is also a founding member of the Society for American Indian Dentists (SAID). Her 38-year career has included: • Becoming the first Navajo dentist •Providing care with the Indian Health Service • Working at Nizhóní Smiles, the only nonprofit dental clinic of the Navajo Nation American Indian/Alaska Native people have three times the dental disease rate compared to the general population. The Navajo Nation has the highest dental disease rate within that group. Dr. Sorrell’s efforts have gone a long way in changing those statistics.