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expert oral hygiene tips

expert oral hygiene tips

A healthy mouth is the foundation for a fulfilling life. Good oral hygiene empowers you to speak clearly, savor delicious and nutritious foods, and express yourself freely with confident smiles. Just a few minutes each day dedicated to a consistent oral hygiene routine, like brushing and flossing, significantly increases your chances of keeping your teeth for a lifetime. This small investment pays off in big ways for your overall well-being and enjoyment of life’s everyday experiences.

Brush Your Teeth

Maintaining optimal dental health hinges on the effective removal of dental plaque, a sticky, colorless film comprised of bacteria. Failure to address plaque accumulation can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

Even teeth that have undergone fillings remain vulnerable to decay. Plaque may accumulate beneath a chipped filling, instigating new decay. Additionally, gum recession, wherein gums recede from teeth, exposes tooth roots to potential decay.

Dental plaque often eludes detection due to its inconspicuous nature. Enhanced visibility can be achieved through staining techniques. Utilizing “disclosing tablets” or specialized toothpaste post-brushing highlights areas with lingering plaque, enabling targeted removal. This method also serves as an educational tool, aiding parents in teaching children effective brushing techniques.

Brushing Tips

  • Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is responsible for protecting teeth against decay. By strengthening the enamel on the tooth’s outer surface, it prevents decay.
  • Clean between the gums and teeth by angling the bristles toward the gumline.
  • Brush gently in small, circular motions. Avoid scrubbing hard.
  • Be sure to brush each tooth from top to bottom.
  • Make sure your tongue is clean.

Additionally, it’s important to remember to replace your toothbrush when the bristles become worn.

Clean Between Your Teeth

A complete oral hygiene routine goes beyond brushing and includes cleaning between your teeth to remove plaque buildup. Plaque left unchecked can harden below the gumline, causing irritation and inflammation. This shows up as red, swollen gums that bleed easily – signs of gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease. Fortunately, gingivitis caused by plaque is usually reversible with daily brushing and flossing.

The longer plaque remains on the surface, the harder it gets and eventually turns into calculus or tartar. Tartar can only be eliminated by a dental specialist, in contrast to plaque. Tartar accumulation can aggravate gingivitis and eventually lead to more serious periodontal disease if treatment is not received. When periodontal disease reaches a severe stage, it can result in loose teeth, tooth loss, chewing pain, and bleeding gums. Regular flossing stops the advancement of plaque and food particles in between your teeth and preserves the wellness of your gums.

Flossing Tips

  • Use a two-foot-long piece of floss. Encircle it around each hand’s middle finger.
  • Grasp the floss with each hand’s thumb and index finger.
  • Ease the floss gently between the teeth until it reaches the gumline (don’t force the floss into place — this could harm the gums). Curve the floss like the letter “C” around the side of each tooth. Slide the floss up and down under the gum.

Some people have arthritis or other conditions that make flossing challenging. If holding floss is too difficult, consider using one of these: a wooden or plastic dental pick

  • Floss holder – a tiny device that retains the floss so your fingers don’t have to grasp it.
  • Floss threader – threads floss (like a needle and thread) through tight spaces.
  • Water flosser – a hand-held device that sprays water.
  • Small brushes called interdentals are made specifically to clean the spaces between teeth.

Helpful Tips

To maintain optimal oral health, follow these guidelines:

  • Brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste to effectively remove plaque and prevent decay.
  • Clean between your teeth at least once a day using dental floss, a special brush, or wooden/plastic picks recommended by a dental professional. Alternatively, utilize tools like a floss holder, floss threader, or water flosser for enhanced accessibility.
  • Schedule regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings with your professional Olds dentist to monitor oral health status and address any emerging issues promptly.
  • If you’re at heightened risk for tooth decay, such as due to medications causing dry mouth, your dentist may administer fluoride treatments during visits or recommend fluoride products for home use.
  • Individuals with medical conditions elevating the risk of gum disease, like diabetes, may require more frequent dental visits for proactive management.
  • Consume fluoridated water to provide ongoing protection for your teeth. Familiarize yourself with the fluoride content of your community’s water supply or consult your water utility company for details.
  • Avoid smoking, as it significantly increases the likelihood of developing gum disease. If you’re seeking assistance to quit smoking, numerous resources are available, including those provided by organizations like the Canadian Cancer Society.
  • Prioritize a dental check-up if you’re planning pregnancy, as hormonal changes during this time may lead to gingivitis. Consistent oral hygiene practices are crucial during pregnancy to safeguard gum health.
  • Maintain a balanced diet, limiting consumption of sugary foods and beverages, such as soda, to mitigate the risk of tooth decay.

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