Good oral hygiene habits from home can help protect smiles of all ages from tooth decay and gum disease, and fight bad breath and teeth stains too! But to do so, we need to take time to brush and floss the right way. In today’s blog, your Richfield, MN, dentist looks at how to clean your teeth at home each day.
The Dangers of Plaque and Tartar
Over time, certain oral bacteria will consume the particles left behind by the foods and drinks we consume, particularly the particles of sugar and starch. As bacteria consumes them, this creates a rise in oral acidity, and coats the teeth in plaque. This sticky layer is difficult to remove with brushing and flossing alone, and can weaken and erode outer enamel, causing cavities. The same layer also irritates and inflames the gum tissues, boosting the risk of gingivitis and gum disease. Over time, this hardens into tartar. The buildup is also linked to stained teeth and bad breath as well!
Daily care can help limit the severity of the buildup until we can remove it with a routine six-month dental cleaning. This helps lower the risk of cavities, gingivitis, gum disease, and dental infection. To help. You should take time to brush your teeth for two minutes when you wake up and then again before going to bed. Be sure you use a fluoride toothpaste as well, as fluoride helps strengthen the outer layers of enamel to prevent cavities. You can use a manual or electric toothbrush; both are effective if used properly. We suggest choosing one with soft bristles, as brushing too rough with medium or hard bristles could weaken enamel and cause gum recession.
Brushing is effective, but doesn’t reach the particles caught between the teeth and in the gum line. Which is why you also need to floss every evening! Take a length of tape 18 to20 inches long, and wrap each end around one of your thumbs. Hold it tight with your index finger, and run the tape up and down each side of every tooth, moving below the gum line when you do. Then adjust the tape to use a clean option for each tooth. You can also use a pick or water flosser too!
If you have any questions about how daily care helps you smile, or how to properly brush and floss your teeth, then contact our team today to learn more.
Talk to Our Team Today
Our team wants to make sure you’re properly prepared to fight plaque buildup. If you have any questions about how to care for your smiles at home each day, or if you would like to schedule an appointment, contact your Richfield, MN, dentist, Dr. Keller, by calling (612) 861-7188.