Maintaining good dental hygiene is essential for more reasons than you might guess. The pain that comes from cavities and infection are reasons enough to maintain good dental health; but poor dental health affects not only your mouth, it actually affects the health of your entire body. At Midtown Dental in Sacramento, CA, we recommend the five following guidelines to ensure good dental hygiene.
- Brush. The first rule for good dental health is to brush your teeth – frequently. At the very least, you should brush twice a day, morning and night. Ideally, you should brush three times a day. Always choose a good toothbrush. Look for the ADA (American Dental Association) stamp on the toothbrush to ensure that you are buying a quality toothbrush.
When you brush your teeth, try to visualize the surfaces of your teeth, and “see” the nooks and crevices and your gums. Brush in a gentle, circular motion, moving slowly across all of the surfaces and crevices you visualize to ensure that your brushing motion is reaching and thoroughly cleaning all the surfaces and nooks and crannies in and around your teeth where bacteria exist. Remember to take your time and spend at least two minutes thoroughly brushing every surface and crevice in and around your teeth.
- Floss. After brushing your teeth thoroughly, it is important to take a couple of minutes to floss them. Flossing removes plaque and remaining bacteria that linger on your teeth, in between your teeth, and on your gums. Flossing also inhibits gum diseases, which, if unchecked, can lead to serious infections. Choose floss that has a waxed coating as this helps the floss move through your teeth more easily. Floss every day.
- Mouth Rinsing. The third rule for lasting dental health is to rinse out your mouth with water or mouthwash after meals when you can’t brush. Swishing and gargling after meals helps to dislodge and remove food particles and bacteria that are likely to remain after the meal. The remaining food particles and bacteria cause an acid to form on your teeth that causes plaque and eats away at the protective enamel on your teeth. If the plaque is not removed, it can turn into tartar. Once plaque has turned into tartar only a dentist can get it off.
- Fluoride. The fourth rule for maintaining good dental hygiene is to rinse your mouth with mouthwash that contains fluoride. Fluoride strengthens the enamel on your teeth, and the harder the enamel on your teeth, the tougher it is for plaque to stick and for acid to eat through it.
- Dental Check-up. The fifth rule for great dental health is to see your dentist on a regular basis. We recommend that you come in every 6 months for a cleaning. Going to the dentist every six months is important for your dental health because. Your dentist will do a detailed check up of all your teeth, and clean off any tartar build-up that has occurred. Getting all of the tartar off of your teeth is crucial for avoiding gum disease.