The best thing you can do for your teeth is to take care of them. Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases than from cavities. The best way to prevent cavities and disease is by good oral hygiene, done every day.
These are easy to follow preventative care tips that go a long way to preventing cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.
One of the main contributors to gum disease and tooth decay is plaque. Plaque is a colorless film, which sticks to your teeth at the gum line.
Plaque is constantly forming on your teeth, and the only way to remove it and prevent plaque buildup is by daily brushing. By brushing and flossing twice daily, you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease.
How to Brush Your Teeth
Many people think they know how to brush; after all, we’ve been doing it since we were kids. But over time, people get a bit lackadaisical, and they don’t get the most out of brushing. It’s vital for long term tooth health, especially if you would like to keep your teeth well into old age.
First, use a fluoride toothpaste to get the best protection. Position the brush at a 45degree angle where your gums and teeth meet. Gently move the brush in a circular motion using small, gentle strokes and light pressure. Use this technique on all upper and lower incisors. Use back and forth actions to brush the biting surfaces. Don’t forget to brush your tongue to remove germs. A tongue sweeper can even be more effective at eliminating bacteria from the surface of your tongue.
If you have any pain while brushing or have any questions about how to brush properly, please be sure to contact us.
How to Floss Your Teeth
We know that no one likes to floss. But gum disease usually appears in the area between the teeth that your toothbrush misses. Flossing is a very effective way to remove plaque from those surfaces, preventing gum disease and tooth decay. Flossing is simple and only takes two minutes.
Start with a piece of floss that is 18″ long. Wrap the floss around each index finger lightly and grip the floss with the index finger and the thumb. Insert the floss in between your teeth and gently move back and forth. Repeat this process between all teeth, even those with no teeth behind them (at the back of the mouth). There are several types of flosses, including nonwaxed and waxed. Either is effective and is a matter of personal preference.
If you haven’t’ flossed in a while, you may see some blood. The appearance of blood is normal the first few times you floss, but it will go away. If it doesn’t, it may indicate a bigger problem. Contact us for a quick evaluation.
Should I use an Electric or Manual Toothbrush?
Oral health experts believe that brushing with an electric toothbrush can be more effective than using a manual toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes are designed to replicate the professional brushes used by hygienists in the office for cleanings.
When used correctly, an electric toothbrush can be more effective than a manual toothbrush in removing plaque. An electric toothbrush can decrease brushing time while helping users reach difficult areas of the mouth, especially in the back. If you prefer a manual brush, the best one to buy is an extra soft-bristled brush with a small head that fits comfortably in your mouth and has a handle with a grip that feels comfortable in your hand.
Electronic toothbrushes cost more than manual brushes. But you do not have to buy one for everyone in your family. Electric toothbrushes come with multiple heads that you swap out for each user, helping save some money.
Types of Dental Care Products
Fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinses/mouthwashes can help reduce tooth decay as much as 40% if used in conjunction with proper brushing and flossing. Any child under the age of six should use products labeled explicitly for their age group. Tartar control toothpaste can reduce tartar above the gum line. However, since gum disease starts below the gum line, these products have not been proven to reduce the early stages of gum disease.
There are many antiplaque rinses on the market, many of which are approved by the American Dental Association. These rinses contain ingredients that may help control early gum disease when used in conjunction with brushing and flossing.
Professional and Routine Cleaning
In addition to daily brushing and flossing, it is essential to have your teeth professionally cleaned every six months. The importance of coming to see us twice a year can not be understated.
A professional cleaning will remove plaque and buildup in areas where you cannot reach or may miss. Keeping up on your preventative care will help you prevent gum disease and keep your teeth healthy.
Plus, with occasional Xrays and the trained eye of a dental professional, we can find and fix issues long before they become problems.