Seeing your dentist regularly is important to catch early signs of tooth decay and gum disease. Your need for treatment beyond routine cleanings, however, is directly related to your home oral hygiene routine. This is the key to minimizing the need for costly and sometimes time-consuming procedures. Daily brushing and flossing, along with a low-sugar diet, are the first steps in keeping your teeth and gums from becoming compromised.
Cleaning Your Teeth and Gums
The most important thing you can do to ensure your oral health is to brush your teeth twice a day, ideally in the morning and at night. Brush the fronts of your teeth with a circular motion, making sure to gently brush along the gum line as well. Use short angled strokes to clean the backs of teeth. Also, use your toothbrush to clean your tongue and remove the bacteria that causes bad breath.
It's also important to replace your toothbrush regularly—ideally every three months. Be sure to choose one with alternating bristle lengths to get into hard to reach areas.
Twice-daily brushing is vital, but because a toothbrush can’t clean the spaces in between teeth, flossing is important too. Floss daily to remove any food caught between your teeth and keep those spaces clean. Many dentists recommend flossing before you brush rather than after and finishing up with an appropriate dental rinse.
Eating for Your Oral Health
Nutrition also plays an important role in maintaining good oral health. Foods and drinks containing sugar are destructive to tooth enamel. While it’s OK to indulge occasionally, be sure to brush soon after to prevent cavities.
It’s best to choose fruits, veggies, nuts, and other healthy foods. Crisp and crunchy foods like apples and raw vegetables require plenty of chewing and help rid your teeth of plaque. This is important because chewing promotes saliva production, which neutralizes acids in foods as well as acids produced by oral bacteria, supporting a beneficial oral environment.
Alcohol and carbonated drinks are high in phosphorous, which can damage teeth when consumed in large amounts. For good oral health, drink plenty of water as it is healthy for your teeth, keeps your mouth moist, and washes away small amounts of debris that can be left behind after eating.
To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, call the Tustin dental office of Frieda Brookshire today!