The number one goal when it comes to your oral health is maintaining healthy teeth and gums for a healthy, attractive smile. This means practicing diligent daily oral hygiene habits, specifically, brushing and flossing to remove plaque along with routine dental visits to remove tartar (hardened plaque), polish your teeth and have your gums checked. A healthy smile starts at home with you!
Removing plaque helps you prevent cavities, swollen gums, halitosis, and permanent stains on your teeth if you are wearing braces. Ideally, you should brush your teeth after every meal or snack. If you can’t brush, at the very least, you should rinse well with water to wash away particles and bacteria. Also be sure to floss at least once a day.
What happens if you neglect your hygiene? In addition to tooth decay and cavities, you can find yourself with gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease. As this is caused by plaque along the gum line, you’ll want to brush those areas and massage your gums gently whenever you brush. If gingivitis isn’t properly cared for, the gums can become infected around the bone and ligaments holding your teeth. This can cause gum pockets to form which harbor even more bacteria and plaque. If this goes on long enough, the teeth can loosen and eventually fall out.
Oral Care Basics for Better Teeth
– Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush with a toothpaste that supports your needs and replace your toothbrush every three months as the bristles will wear down over time, especially if you tend to brush hard. Make it a habit to brush your teeth after every meal and before bed.
– Floss once a day. Seems like an impossible task? There are a few tools you can use! The most common tool is a waxed floss or one with a floss threader. Another helpful tool for those who don’t like dental floss is a water flosser. This handy tool can flush out bacteria and food debris around the gums and in the small spaces of the teeth easily and effectively. Be sure to find what works best for you and then do it every day.
– Always attend your six-month checkups with our dental team. We will check for problems with your smile and provide you with a professional cleaning and polishing. To help us conduct the most thorough exam we may use digital dental X-rays, and we are always happy to address any questions or concerns you may have about your oral health while you are in the office.
– Using a mouthwash can help reduce oral bacteria that lead to tooth decay and gum disease. There are mouthwashes that can help you achieve a variety of goals, from curtailing bad breath to supporting tooth enamel or help you fight gum disease. If you are using an over-the-counter mouthwash, be sure to look for one that carries the American Dental Association seal of acceptance on the packaging. Our team is also happy to prescribe a mouth rinse that will best suit your needs.
For more oral care tips, we invite you to give us a call to get more information on how you can take better care of your teeth and gums. We look forward to helping you achieve the healthy, attractive smile you have always wanted!