To build a house, you must have a solid foundation. Dental health follows a similar principal. If you want to have a healthy mouth, it starts with a foundation of good oral hygiene.
This is the foundation of what we do at Oregon City Family Dentistry. Dental cleanings and examinations are an essential part of our practice. While we offer a number of services, preventive care is the bedrock of what we do.
If you can stop cavities and gum disease from developing, you can save yourself from needing many of restorative services. Routine visits to our dentist office in Oregon City need to be part of your care, but you also have to do your part at home to maintain your oral health.
Today, we will review some things that everyone needs to know about brushing and flossing.
How To Brush Your Teeth
You may know already that bacteria live in your mouth. Bacteria use the sugars in our food to make plaque, which can turn into tartar.
Brushing is an effective way to remove many bacteria and plaque buildup. (Tartar is a different story, but we’ll get to that later.)
The American Dental Association recommends that you and your family should brush your teeth twice every day. When you brush, you need these things:
- A soft-bristled toothbrush
- A toothpaste with fluoride
- Two minutes of your time
Each time you brush, you should scrub your teeth for two minutes. You want to clean your teeth on all sides.
Toothpaste helps to remove bacteria while the fluoride can help repair and strengthen the enamel on your teeth. Enamel is the hardest substance on the human body, and it is the first line of defense for your teeth.
One thing to be careful about is that you do not brush too hard. If you can feel the bristles buckling, then you may be pressing too hard.
How To Floss Your Teeth
Surveys indicated that a majority of Americans do not follow the ADA recommendation to floss between their teeth and gums every day. That’s right, you should be flossing daily.
Why? Brushing your teeth removes a lot of bacteria, but your toothbrush does not clean the spaces between your teeth. It also can’t clean below your gumline.
Flossing can reach those spaces. That’s the reason you need to do it daily.
But which dental floss should you use? Waxed or unwaxed? Regular, fine, or thick floss? Flavored or unflavored?
You can use whatever kind of dental floss you prefer. The important thing is that you use it every single day.
To use floss, break off a strand about 18 inches long. Wind the floss around your middle fingers. Then hold the floss between your index fingers and thumbs. Hug the floss around the sides of your teeth and under your gums.
This is how you remove the bacteria and plaque from those hard to reach places. When you are finished, throw the floss away.
Now, some people may find dental floss difficult to use. If you are one of those people, then you can try using a water flosser, flossers with handles, or some other interdental cleaner instead.
If you still aren’t convinced that you need to floss daily, here’s one more things you need to know. Gum disease, not tooth decay, is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States.
Routine Visits To The Dentist
Earlier we said that we would come back to tartar, and we have reached that point.
Tartar is plaque that has hardened. Brushing and flossing can remove bacteria and plaque, but tartar can only be removed by a dental professional.
We recommend that you visit our dentist office in Oregon City, OR, a couple times each year. During your visits, a dentist or hygienist will examine your mouth. We will watch for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, and other problems.
One of the things we do is use our special tools to remove any tartar that may have accumulated in your mouth. We also remove any plaque buildup and bacteria that are on your teeth at the time of your visit. And we will watch for changes to your teeth alignment.
If we see any problems, we will help you understand your treatment options. We are always happy to answer any questions you have about your or your family’s oral care, too.
Make An Appointment
If you have not yet made your next appointment, call 503-917-0523 or fill out our online form. If you are new to this area or you are looking for a new dentist, Oregon City Family Dentistry would be happy to become your new general dentist.
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