Wondering how to take the best care of your teeth? Proper dental hygiene and oral care are essential to your overall health and wellness. Whenever we eat, food particles give mouth bacteria fuel to colonize the teeth. As they consume the material, they create a sticky film called dental plaque.
As dental plaque accumulates, acids created as a byproduct of bacterial action damage tooth enamel. When it comes down to how to prevent tooth decay, brushing at least twice a day is key. When you brush after eating, you can disrupt plaque faster, so it doesn’t have as much time to form.
As for what causes gum disease: When plaque settles around the gum line, bacterial colonies irritate the gums. Many people experience transient swelling, reddening, and occasional bleeding of the gums, called gingivitis. If the condition is left untreated, it may become full-blown gum disease; this is called Periodontitis. This is essentially bone loss caused by that same pesky bacteria and its associated inflammation.
Be sure each brushing session lasts at least two minutes. Always use toothpaste containing fluoride – this mineral naturally bonds to tooth enamel and makes it stronger. Start with your toothbrush at the gum line at a 45-degree angle so you can cover the entire tooth surface in short, back and forth strokes. Do not brush too hard, especially near the gums.
Brushing in the same pattern each time can ensure you cover each tooth completely. For example, you can start with the exterior tooth surfaces, then switch to the inner tooth surfaces and chewing surfaces. Maintaining the 45-degree brush orientation, using the top part of the brush to cleanse interior surfaces of both sets of front teeth. Finally, brush your tongue gently.
It is important to switch out your old toothbrush every 2-3 months. This is because your old toothbrush bristles become frayed and become less effective at cleaning your teeth well. It also may cause damage and create tiny cuts to your gums due to the bristle destruction over time. Test this by purchasing a new toothbrush frequently and feel how much better it cleans your teeth. If you need help remembering, visit our site. We offer a program in which we send you a new toothbrush and other oral health supplies every 2-3 months, depending on your choosing, to help you achieve optimal oral health. Try it out and see the difference it can make in your smile.
When it comes to preventing gum disease, flossing is essential – it eliminates plaque and removes food particles between teeth, where they are likely to damage gums.
Some people find it difficult to hold on to floss and guide it between their teeth. You might try a pre-threaded flosser, which includes a small handle, if you have trouble. Your goal should be to gently press the floss in between each tooth and move it up and down. Gently pull the floss closely around each tooth, sliding it down past the contact and down into the space between your tooth and gum, then across and up again until it feels smooth. This is a great technique to remove more plaque, as plaque is often missed down below the gum line. If this hurts, you are probably doing it wrong. Ask your dentist or hygienist for help. The key is to keep it tight against your tooth for best results and avoid causing damage to your gums. The mistake most people make is to pop the floss down through the contact and then it hits the gums, which damages them and removes little to no plaque.
Ideally, you should floss once a day. If this is difficult, start by flossing 2-3 times a week and work your way up. When you first begin to floss, you may notice mild bleeding for the first five days or so. If symptoms continue, see a dentist. Often bleeding gums is a sign of active bacteria causing inflammation. If bone loss (Periodontitis) is not present, and you are not damaging your gums when flossing, this bleeding should clear up primarily due to the decrease of present bacteria because of flossing and the increase of healthy gums. If this bleeding does not clear up, seek your dentist’s help soon; it may be an indication of a more severe problem.
When you brush and floss daily, you can protect yourself against dental plaque and the problems it can cause – tooth decay, cavities, and loss of gum tissue. Through regular dental checkups and cleanings, it’s easier to identify potential issues and be proactive about solutions in order to avoid more serious procedures.