With children being the one exception, we only get one set of teeth. Throughout our lives, it is important that we place high precedence on our dental hygiene and oral care. Although some aspects of dental care may seem to be a nuisance, all of your efforts to brush, scrub, and floss will undoubtedly pay off long term. Forming good habits when it comes to dental care will undoubtedly keep your smile looking great, your breath fresh, and your gums healthy. Furthermore, you will continue to impress your dentist with strong, healthy teeth throughout your life, and you will be much less susceptible to cavities, gum disease, and residual health problems that often result from poor dental hygiene.
Brushing Your Teeth and Tongue
Brushing your teeth in addition to your tongue is a habit that everyone should establish during childhood. You should brush your teeth with toothpaste at least twice a day for approximately two minutes in total. As you brush, be sure to dedicate proper attention both the interior and exterior portions of your upper and bottom teeth in both the front and back of your mouth. Routine brushing will remove plaque and prevent tartar buildup, encourage healthy gums, and maintain strong enamel to protect your teeth from forming cavities. As you brush your teeth, you should also take the time to clean your tongue. Brushing your tongue will remove bacteria, encourage fresher breath, and promote overall dental health.
Flossing and Rinsing
While brushing your teeth should occur twice a day, it’s also important to floss and rinse. Because our molars and the bases of our teeth are tightly packed, it’s harder for the bristles of a toothbrush to properly clean the spaces between each tooth. Flossing manually with dental floss or using a water-flossing tool helps to clear debris that cannot be reached by a toothbrush alone. In addition to removing plaque and tartar buildup between your teeth, flossing helps keep your gums in tip-top condition as well. Flossing daily essentially serves to massage your gums, stimulating healthy tissue and reducing the chance of developing periodontal disease. Taking the time to rinse your mouth with mouthwash after brushing and flossing can further clear out any stubborn debris, soothe irritated gums, and promote fresher breath.
Routine Check-ups and Cleaning
While you can do a lot on your own at home to maintain proper dental hygiene, most dentists recommend making an appointment twice per year for a routine check-up and cleaning. Sometimes, even the most disciplined of dental patients who brush their teeth every day still end up with significant tartar buildup over time. A visit to the dentist will provide patients with a thorough cleaning of their teeth provided by either a hygienist or the dentist himself. In addition to cleaning your teeth, your hygienist or dentist will allow you to report any problems affecting your teeth, gums, or overall oral health. Dental appointments encourage conversations between both dentists and patients. Routine check-ups are common practice for preventative care, keeping your smile healthy for years to come.
As part of a dental checkup, children and also adults can receive additional fluoride treatments to further protect their teeth. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that strengthens tooth enamel and prevents cavities by fighting against bacteria harmful to both teeth and gums. For those prone to developing cavities, fluoride can actually help replenish the natural barrier that protects teeth. One dental study presented that children and adolescents who underwent fluoride treatments reduced their likelihood for cavities and tooth decay by over 40 percent. Trace amounts of fluoride can also be found in drinking water. Those who regularly consume fluoridated water also showed significantly reduced risks of developing dental cavities.
While dentists and hygienists are trained to spot dental problems during a routine check-up, dental x-rays are another service offered by dentists in order to facilitate oral care. Dental x-rays allow for dentists to keep track of your oral health over time. X-rays offer more detailed images of your teeth and gums, allowing dentists to further assist patients with problems like hidden cavities, cracked or chipped teeth, and impacted molars. Dental x-rays can help to solidify evidence of pain or irritation that a patient may be suffering, and can be used to help determine a proper treatment plan. When performed on a routine basis, Dental x-rays are harmless and can assist your dentist in providing you with the best oral care possible.
Both at home and through visits to your dentist, routine dental care has many benefits for your overall wellbeing. Not only does proper oral care give you fresh breath and a brilliant smile, but you are also preventing the development of decay, cavities, and other health problems. If you have any concerns about your dental care routine, proper brushing techniques, or options for bettering your oral wellness, make an appointment with your dentist today. He or she can provide you with a heavy arsenal of strategies to keep your teeth feeling great and looking pearly white for decades to come.
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