Good oral hygiene habits are vital in keeping your teeth and gums healthy. With neglect comes gingivitis, periodontal disease, discomfort, tooth decay, and eventually the need to extract teeth. Those patients who come to us needing intensive dental care to save their teeth sometimes have a long road of treatments and care to restore their dental health. Avoiding the need for expensive periodontal disease care or dental implants can start with your own habits at home.
1. Brushing Regularly
Make it your habit to thoroughly brush your teeth twice every day. Use a soft-bristled brush and be gentle as you brush in small circular movements. Vigorous brushing can damage gums and enamel over time. Clean your teeth before bed and in the morning. Change your toothbrush about every six months. Don’t forget to brush your tongue to remove bacteria responsible for bad breath!
2. Floss Daily
Flossing removes food particles from between your teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach. When food is left for bacteria to feast upon, it multiplies and begins to irritate gums. You may begin to notice some blood as you brush your teeth. This could be the first sign of gingivitis and requires a visit to the dentist.
3. Fluoride Is Important
There is a natural mineral, called fluorine, that is found to be effective in protecting tooth enamel. Using fluoride on a regular basis will help prevent the formation of cavities. In the United States, we have fluoride added to our drinking water. Children are sometimes given fluoride tablets as their adult teeth come in. You can also find a toothpaste that contains fluoride, but using an anti-cavity mouthwash containing fluoride is the best.
4. Avoid Sugar
Bacteria loves sugar! When you consume sugary food or drinks, these bacteria will flourish. It’s actually their waste that infects your gums and eats away at your teeth.
5. Visit the Dentist
Of course, no dental health regimen is complete without regular visits to the dentist. We recommend you come in once every six months for an exam and professional cleaning. We’ll aid in prevention but step in when other treatments become necessary to maintain or restore your oral health.
Following these 5 tips will ensure the long-term health of your gums and teeth. If it’s time for a cleaning, please contact us to set up an appointment. If it has been a long time in-between visits because you struggle with anxieties that keep you from getting the care you need, please let us know. We have options and methods to help you feel comfortable in our care. Keep up these habits, and schedule an appointment today.