The American Dental Association recommends everyone visits the dentist twice a year for preventive care. While routine cleanings and checkups are important for preventing future dental problems, it is only half of the care you need. In addition to preventive care from your dentist in Northgate, you need to maintain your oral hygiene at home in between your dental appointments. By doing so, you will help to ensure you maintain a healthy smile for a lifetime.
Brush Twice a Day
You have been told from a very young age to brush your teeth twice a day. However, only 56% of women and 49% of men actually brush twice a day. Brushing is important for preventing plaque and tarter accumulations while removing food particles from the teeth. You need to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to clean all surfaces of the teeth twice a day. Brush for at least two minutes. If possible, it is ideal to brush after every meal.
Even with the best brushing techniques, there are just some places a toothbrush cannot reach, which is why you need to floss daily. However, only 50% of Americans floss their teeth every day. Flossing is needed to prevent gum disease. It removes plaque and tarter buildup from in between the teeth and around the gum line. Use an ADA-approved dental floss to gently clean in between each tooth. While it is personal preference whether to floss before or after brushing, it is often better to floss at night before going to bed.
In addition to your oral hygiene, you need to take precautions to prevent your teeth from damage. The biggest threat to dental health involves cavities. Cavities are holes that form in the enamel due to acids from sugars and starches eating away at the tooth. Eat a diet that is well-balanced while limiting your consumption of sugary or starchy foods.
Preventing damage does not just involve stopping cavities. You need to be proactive about lifestyle habits and other factors that can damage the teeth, such as smoking. Smoking significantly increases your risk for tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancers. If you use tobacco, it is best to stop immediately.
If you have underlying conditions that place added strain on the teeth, such as grinding of the teeth, it is important to have the condition treated with an oral appliance. This will protect the teeth from excessive wear and tear. In addition, if you play sports, be sure to wear a mouthguard to protect the teeth in the event of trauma or injury to the mouth.
Lifelong Dental Health
With the right home habits and care from your Northgate dentist, your teeth can last a lifetime. Although we play a vital role in your oral health, what you do in between appointments is equally as crucial. To ensure your teeth stay healthy and beautiful, remain proactive about your dental health. Together, we will reach your oral health goals for a healthy smile. Contact Oak Tree Dental Care today to schedule an appointment.