What can I do to improve my home dental care?

Although it is important to visit a dentist regularly, it is as important to care for your teeth at home. Routine dental care will help to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy; it will also make your trips to the dentist more comfortable and productive. To maintain your oral and dental care, you should:

Use the right toothbrush
Use a quality toothbrush that has soft bristles and fits comfortably in your mouth.  Make sure to replace your toothbrush every three months, or when the bristles show wear. There are a variety of toothbrush options out there, but soft-bristled and electronic toothbrushes are the best options to keep your smile bright and clean. Both of these choices allow for the gentle cleansing on your teeth without inflicting hard scrubbing and possible long-term damage such as receding gums and enamel loss.

Floss at least once a day
Flossing is the best way to remove plaque in places where your brush just can’t reach. The plaque that is between your teeth leads to tooth decay and gum disease. Brushing provides 50% of the daily cleaning your teeth need. Flossing does the rest.  Flossing at least once a day before bedtime or after each meal helps to keep your gums healthy and prevent cavities from forming. If you experience bleeding when flossing, you may have gingivitis or poor gum health. Not to worry, the more you floss the better your gum health will be, decreasing your bloody gums over time.

Give your tongue some attention
Your tongue, like your teeth and gums, can play host to a variety of bacteria if left uncleaned. To kick these bacteria to the curb, consider purchasing a tongue scraper, or a toothbrush with a scraper on the back. This small accessory will help you remove bacteria and improve your breath. The move in-depth your hygiene routine, the cleaner your mouth will be.

Drink water and Eat Healthy
Mouth dryness increases biofilm (plaque) accumulation and your risk for both tooth decay and periodontal disease. Drinking plenty of water and keeping well hydrated has a number of health benefits for your entire body, especially for your mouth. Water keeps sensitive tissues moist, and promotes the healthful action of saliva, which aids digestion, fights germs, and prevents tooth decay. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” isn’t just used by pediatricians. Dentists recommend eating an apple a day because chewing apples can help you clean your teeth and avoid cavities, all while also taking the edge off of your sweet tooth. Crunchier vegetables like carrots and celery also help keep your gums stimulated fighting cavities. In general, a nutritious diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, grains, chicken and fish (especially organic) will aid in not just your dental health, but your overall health.

Visit the dentist regularly
We often find that many patients only visit us when there is something wrong, but some of the most vital parts of your dental health care routine x-rays and regular cleanings. Preventive care can help find minor issues before they become significant. Not only that, but it also helps you build up a comfortable and trustworthy dentist/patient relationship. The more you trust your dentist, the easier it will be to discuss your worries and fears, leading to a more enjoyable experience.

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