Oral Health Information
Good oral health doesn’t stop being important when you step out of our office! Good oral health habits should follow you back home so that you can keep your teeth, gums and mouth in great shape between visits to the dentist. To help you, we’ve provided some basic tips and information on how to take good care of your teeth right here!
Brushing and Flossing
Brushing and flossing are the most important parts of your at-home oral health care. Many people think that they know how to brush and floss, but many miss a lot of opportunities to give your teeth and gums the cleaning they need. Here are a few tips on how to brush and floss your teeth the right way, as well as what kind of a brush to use in the first place.
When you’re brushing your teeth, you want to simply remove plaque before it builds up while protecting your gums from damage. You’ll want to do a thorough job and not miss any area. With these goals in mind, here is how we suggest that you brush your teeth:
- Brushing after every meal is preferred, but if you can’t make that work, then brush twice a day (once after breakfast and once before bed).
- Choose a fluoride toothpaste.
- Start from one place and work your way around your whole mouth in a circle so that you end back where you started, making sure that you don’t miss anything.
- Take your time. You should be trying to keep brushing for between two and four minutes.
- Focus on each tooth as you brush and be sure to move the brush over the front, top and back of the tooth. There are many different preferred methods for this, but the point is to make sure to thoroughly brush each tooth.
- If your mouth fills with foamy toothpaste, then spit it out, but return to brushing until each tooth is done.
- When you’re done with your teeth, be sure not to forget to brush the surface of your tongue.
- Choosing a toothbrush
In general, studies have found that using an electric brush is often more effective than a manual brush. You can make up for the movements of an electric brush by being very active and thorough in your brushing, but the way that most people brush makes the electric option a little better at ridding your teeth of plaque.
Whichever brush type you use, you should use a soft bristled head. Soft bristles are hard enough to clean plaque but are soft enough not to damage gums, the way medium and hard bristles will.
Flossing is done to clean the surfaces between your teeth. You need to be thorough with your flossing as well, so make sure not to miss any spaces.
- It’s recommended that you floss after every meal, but if you can only floss once a day, then be sure to floss before bed. That’s the bare minimum.
- Don’t press down too hard when flossing so you don’t damage your gums.
- When the floss is between your teeth, rub the floss against one tooth and then the other, moving up and down as well as back and forth.
Avoiding Bad Breath
Bad breath is a social embarrassment, so most people are keen to stop it from creeping up in their lives. There are so many products on the market to deal with bad breath, so what is the best solution? Unfortunately, there’s no quick answer. Bad breath can be caused by so many factors that there is no quick fix. The following areas/conditions can cause bad breath:
- Bacteria growth on the tongue— This is why it’s important to brush your tongue when you brush your teeth.
- Teeth cavities & stuck food—This is why it’s important to floss regularly and go to your routine dental visits.
- Gum disease—Again, this can be prevented through good oral health practices.
- Healing extraction sites—It takes time for wounds to heal, even in your mouth. Be sure to follow your dentist’s instructions for care after tooth extraction.
- Food and drink—Alcohol, tobacco, coffee and many other foods will give you bad breath.
- Medical conditions—Some diseases and infections can cause bad breath, like tonsillitis or an infection of your air passages.
If following good oral health practices doesn’t solve your bad breath problem, then consult your dentist to find the underlying cause!
Tooth decay prevention
Choosing the right food and following good oral health practices at home will go a long way in preventing tooth decay. Remember that sugar is the biggest cause of tooth decay, so cut out the sodas and candy and be sure to brush your teeth after eating something particularly sugary.
Also use a toothpaste with fluoride in it. If you have children, be aware that fluoride is very necessary to the development of healthy teeth. Find out if there is fluoride added to your water and if it isn’t, ask your dentist for children’s fluoride tablets.
Dental Health and Your Diet
Fluoride and Dental Decay: Many years ago scientists started to notice that children who were born and raised in areas with natural fluoride in their drinking water had less cavities than in other areas. Fluoride is absorbed by your body when teeth are forming and integrates into the structure of enamel and makes it stronger. After tooth eruption, fluoride that is in your toothpaste and mouthwash, or what your dentist places on your teeth still have a positive effect on your teeth. It strengthens enamel and reduces the chance of tooth decay.