Preventative dentistry involves taking care of your teeth and gums at home. While we can help with this during regular dental exams and teeth cleanings, the teeth will suffer without a daily care routine. Here are some suggestions for ways to improve the oral hygiene routine at home:
Brush teeth the right way
It is possible to brush teeth the wrong way and waste all of the effort. Since brushing is part of a daily routine, it is wise to make it count by following the appropriate steps, which include:
#1. The 2-2 rule
Be sure to brush teeth at least two times per day. During each brushing, it is important to keep brushing for a full two minutes. By shortening the time span, the likelihood of removing all the plaque from the teeth is very slim. Poor brushing will then lead to a buildup of plaque that could eventually harden and become tartar, increasing the risk of decay.
#2. Use a soft toothbrush
It is important to be careful when brushing the teeth. A soft toothbrush should be used at a 45-degree angle. Do not apply too much pressure because excessive pressure, if the bristles of your toothbrush brush are bent it is because you are brushing to hard. A hard toothbrush and toothpaste can lead to the erosion of dentin which is the root surface of the teeth. The enamel is the hard outer layer that is responsible for protecting the tooth and keeping it from becoming sensitive or breaking. The dentin is usually covered by tissue and bone, dentin exposure allows the dentinal tubules to be exposed and this sensitivity comes from. Aggressive brushing with a hard bristle toothbrush causes tooth brush recession which exposes the root surface of the tooth. Toothpaste is harder than dentin and thus can cut or remove the dentin. This is seen as notching at the gum line or cemento enamel junction.
#3. Brush each tooth
Be careful not to miss any teeth. Each tooth needs to be brushed thoroughly before the job is complete. Show love to every tooth, by cleaning every surface of every tooth. If you don’t love them, they will not stay.
While many patients do a good job of brushing, they skip flossing entirely. Flossing may not be fun but it is absolutely necessary. By not flossing, food and plaque will remain trapped in between the teeth and the gum line. This can lead to gum disease. Tooth loss is inevitable if gum disease remains untreated, but prevention begins with the simple step of flossing. This is an important part of preventative dentistry.
Drink more water
Drinking water is an easy thing to do and something that everyone can incorporate into their daily routine. Water helps to keep the mouth hydrated and moist which decreases bad breath and improves oral health. Water also serves to wash away food particles that could become trapped after snacks and meals.
Eat a healthy diet
It is also necessary to eat a healthy diet that includes lean protein, green vegetables, nuts and dairy products. Part of preventative dentistry is helping patients learn how to eat a healthy diet and how to avoid things that can cause damage to the teeth and gums. For example, soda, candy and highly processed foods should be avoided.
Learn to breathe thru your nose. Mouth breathers have a drier mouth and more tooth wear. Nose breathers have a more moist mouth. If you cannot breathe thru your nose then you will have more recurrent decay.
Discover how you can improve your oral health and take the steps necessary to do so by starting a good routine at home. Then, call our office to schedule a dental examination.
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