The American Dental Association recommends visiting your dentist at least once per year for a routine examination and cleaning. Many children and adults visit their dentist as often as every three to six months. While regular visits to your dentist can help prevent and correct poor dental hygiene, it is important to practice good oral health habits at home between cleanings. Before your next dental appointment, adapt these practices for healthy teeth and gums.
Brush Teeth Twice Daily With a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush
One of the most important components of proper oral hygiene involves brushing. Brushing at least twice a day helps to remove plaque and bacteria from the teeth. When brushing, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush in small, circular motions for about two to three minutes. Avoid hard-bristled toothbrushes which can damage the gums and tooth enamel. Certain electric toothbrushes have been shown to have a clear advantage over manual brushing. Talk to your healthcare provider at your next visit about these advantages and the options available.
Floss Between Teeth at Least Once a Day
Flossing is the best way to remove stubborn plaque and food particles from those harder-to-reach areas in the mouth. The proper technique involves holding a section of clean floss taut between your index finger and thumb as you insert it between two teeth. When the floss reaches the gums, curve the floss at the base of the tooth to form a “C” shape.
Get Adequate Fluoride From Top Products and Water Sources
Fluoride helps prevent cavities and makes teeth stronger. Many communities have fluoridated water on tap, while others may have fluoride in their well water. For those who do not have access to fluoridated water, there are countless dental products that contain fluoride, including toothpastes and mouthwashes. Using a fluoridated toothpaste to brush is of utmost importance.
Limit the Number of Sugary Snacks You Eat
It’s perfectly fine to enjoy a sugary treat on occasion. However, when you consume high-sugar foods regularly, your teeth can pay the price. Diets that contain many sugary foods can contribute to tooth decay. Oral bacteria in the mouth feed on sugars and then release acids that attack the teeth, causing decay. Keep the consumption of sugar to a minimum.
Eliminate Bad Habits That Contribute to Your Poor Oral Health
Some common habits can wreak havoc on your teeth and gums. Nail biting is a nervous habit that can chip teeth and negatively impact your jaw. Grinding and clenching your teeth, which is fairly common during sleep, can cause cracking or chipping of the teeth. Smoking is another bad habit that can lead to yellowing of the teeth and tongue, as well as bad breath. Smoking also harms the body’s immune system which makes it more difficult for tissues in the mouth to heal.
Schedule Dental Cleaning Services With Vero Elite Dentistry
Located in Vero Beach, FL, Vero Elite Dentistry offers professional dental services with a personalized touch. In addition to routine procedures like cleanings and exams, the Florida dental practice offers dental crowns, implants, veneers, bridges, teeth whitening, oral cancer screenings, full mouth dental reconstruction, and more. Reach out to Vero Elite Dentistry today to learn more or to schedule an appointment.