Dental Hygiene Habits
You know that you need to take care of your teeth, but do you really know what make up good dental hygiene habits? Find out if your daily mouth care matches up to what dentists want you to do. When you have a regular habit of taking good care of your teeth and gums, you can prevent painful conditions such as cavities, gum disease, and gum inflammation.
How to Brush Your Teeth
Since you were a child, you have brushed your teeth. Are you following the correct procedure for brushing, though? While some brushing is better than none, more thorough brushing produces better results than a brief scrubbing of your teeth.
First, choose the right toothbrush. Harder bristles don’t clean better than soft ones. In fact, softer bristles will help protect your gums. Opt for a brush with soft bristles so that you don’t put too much pressure on your gums. Electric toothbrushes with soft bristles often have features that stop if you press the brush against your teeth too hard. Brushing too hard can lead to receding gums.
When brushing your teeth, take at least two minutes and focus on brushing the front, back, and top of each individual tooth. Taking your time will ensure that you remove tartar from your teeth before it can harden into plaque that your dentist needs to remove.
Don’t Forget to Floss
Flossing your teeth gets food stuck in places that your toothbrush cannot reach. Regular flossing should be part of your brushing routine. As long as you brush and floss thoroughly, whether you choose to floss or to brush first does not matter. Be sure to make both parts of your dental hygiene habits.
To floss your teeth, use 18 inches of regular floss and pull it into a curve when you reach the gum line between teeth. If you find using standard floss difficult, consider flossing picks or a water flosser. Regularly flossing matters more than the tools you used to do it.
Schedule Regular Dental Visits
Make twice-yearly cleanings and regular dental exams part of your schedule. During routine dental cleanings, the hygienist will remove plaque, get rid of tartar, and polish your teeth. These cleanings reach places that you may have missed during your regular brushing and flossing routine. In fact, the dentist may request that you have a specific type of cleaning, based on your oral health.
Gross debridement removes excessive amounts of plaque and tartar that may coat the teeth. This type of cleaning removes coatings that prevent the dentist from thoroughly evaluating your teeth.
If you have gum disease or are prone to developing it, the dentist may recommend that you get a scaling and root planing. This type of cleaning goes deeply around the gums to remove bacteria that could cause gum inflammation or disease.
The last type of cleaning is called prophylaxis cleaning, which just means preventative. This is the general type of cleaning you may get when you make a routine visit to the dentist.
In addition to cleanings, you should get regular dental exams, too. These exams give the dentist a chance to look for developing problems or help you to correct existing issues. Services that you may need in addition to an exam include the following:
- Digital dental x-rays
- Tooth extractions
- Root canal therapy
- Composite dental fillings
- Dental sealants
Other Dental Hygiene Habits to Incorporate Into Your Routine
In addition to brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist, you can do several other things to help keep your teeth healthy. Incorporate the following into your habits for better dental health:
- Use a fluoride-based mouthwash
- Drink fluoridated water
- Don’t eat foods that stick to your teeth without brushing afterwards
- Replace your toothbrush every three months or after you’ve been sick
- Visit the dentist if you have pain or inflammation in your mouth
Take Charge of Your Dental Health Today
Having good dental hygiene habits will help you to preserve your smile. Part of your healthy dental habits should include regular dental visits. Let us become part of your routine. Make an appointment at Greenwood Dental Care for cleaning, exam, or any of our other services. Phone our office at 855.528.3961 to set a time that works for your schedule.