You should definitely see us every six months for a checkup and cleaning, which helps protect your smile from issues like cavities and gum disease. However, in between these visits you can protect your smile with better brushing and flossing habits too! In today’s blog, your Kansas City, MO, dentist is talking about better oral hygiene habits.
The Dangers of Plaque and Poor Oral Hygiene
When we consume foods and drinks with sugary and starchy ingredients, this leaves behind particles clinging to the teeth or stuck between them. Lack of proper oral hygiene habits means they remain there for bacteria to break down, a process linked to the onset of plaque buildup. Over time, plaque hardens into tartar and is impossible to remove with brushing and flossing alone, enabling tooth decay, gingivitis, gum disease, bad breath, and stained teeth to develop. However, you can take action from home to limit how much plaque accumulates, so we can remove buildup in six-month cleaning visits.
Brushing Your Teeth the Right Way
You should start by brushing your teeth when you first wake up, for at least two minutes. Be sure you reach every available surface of your teeth, approaching them with the toothbrush held at a 45-degree angle. Then clean the fronts in circular motions. Make sure your toothpaste contains fluoride, which strengthens the outer enamel. Do the same before bed each evening as well. We suggest whether you use electric or manual, that your toothbrush contain soft bristles. Brushing too rough with hard or medium bristles could risk inadvertent damage to your enamel.
Make Time to Floss
While brushing is effective, it cannot reach what is stuck between the teeth or trapped along the gum line. For that, you need to floss every evening before going to bed. Basically, just take an 18-to-20-inch length of floss tape, wrapping each end around one of your thumbs and holding it taut with your index fingers. Move the tape up and down each side of every tooth, dipping below the gum line when you do. You should adjust your grip to ensure you’re using a clean portion of the tape with each tooth. This is essential for avoiding issues like gingivitis and gum disease, as well as tooth decay and infection.
Watch What You Eat
You also help by cutting back on sugary and starchy snacks and drinks, and instead consuming more water, fresh fruits and veggies, whole grain breads and crackers, sugar-free gum, and low-fat yogurts.
Do You Have Questions About Oral Hygiene?
Our team would like to help you enjoy a healthier smile with better brushing and flossing habits. To learn more about keeping your teeth strong and brighter from home, then schedule a consultation by calling Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry of Kansas City, MO, today at 816-897-4288.