We suggest patients of all ages come see us every six months for a checkup and cleaning. However, what steps should you take at home in between these visits to keep smiles strong? In today’s blog, your Richfield, MN, dentist will explain how proper brushing and flossing is essential for avoiding the onset of everything from cavities to gum disease.
Brushing Your Teeth
Do you brush your teeth? While many people do, even those who do may not be cleaning their smile properly. To start, we suggest picking up a toothbrush that has soft bristles to prevent inadvertent damage to the enamel if you brush too hard. You can use manual or electric, as long as you take time to clean your teeth when you wake up and again before bed for at least two minutes each session. Your toothpaste choice is important too! You want one that contains fluoride, a mineral that strengthens the outer enamel. You should look for this, or the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance on the packaging. Be wary of whitening toothpastes, as many contain abrasive agents that remove stains, but could also weaken portions of your outer enamel in the process.
While brushing for two minutes twice a day is effective at removing food particles and preventing plaque buildup, the bristles don’t reach everything. You also need to floss to remove what is caught between the teeth or along the gum line. Take an 18-to-10-inch length of tape, wrap each end around your thumbs and then hold the tape tight with your index fingers. Take the tape up and down each side of each individual tooth, and dip below the gum line. You should do this every evening without exception!
Avoiding Too Much Sugar
Another factor is what you eat and drink. Harmful oral bacteria love to break down bits of sugary and starch, so drinking more water instead of options like soda, and avoiding sugar-rich and starchy snacks, is very beneficial. You should enjoy fresh fruits, veggies, whole grain items, low-fat yogurts, cheeses, and nuts. A better diet helps your smile, and your overall health as well. If you have any questions about how to care for your smile properly from home each day, or if you would like to schedule your next checkup and cleaning appointment, then contact our team today.
Your Richfield, MN Dentist’s Office Talks Preventive Dentistry
At our Richfield, MN dentist’s office, our team wants to make sure our patients know how to keep their smiles free of cavities, disease, and tooth loss. To find out more about keeping teeth and gums strong and healthy, then please call Cedar West Family Dentistry at (612) 861-7188.