The steps you take each day to care for your smile help limit plaque buildup and keep both minor and serious oral health issues at bay. In today’s blog, your Richfield, MN, dentist wants to make sure you’re taking proper care of your smile. Find out how you can correctly brush and floss your teeth each and every day.
You Need Routine Care to Stop Plaque
When harmful bacteria break down and consume food particles from on and between our teeth, this leads to a bacterial byproduct coating the outside of the teeth. Known as plaque, this buildup could cause demineralization, weakening and eroding your enamel to cause cavities and dental infections. The same buildup also inflames the gums, so gingivitis could form, and eventually so could gum disease. Plaque, which hardens into tartar, also leads to bad breath and stained teeth. Brushing and flossing cannot remove the buildup but daily care severely limits how much can form until the dentist can remove it all with a six-month dental cleaning visit.
Brushing Your Teeth
To brush, first pick a toothbrush that has soft bristles. This could be electric or manual, but we suggest soft bristles to avoid inadvertent enamel damage if you clean your teeth too rough. Each time, use a pea-sized bit of fluoride toothpaste, as this contains minerals that strengthens the outer enamel. Look for fluoride on the packaging, or for the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance. Approach the teeth at a 45-degree angle to reach the tops and sides. Clean the front facing teeth in a circular motion. You should do this when you wake up and again before bed, for about two minutes each time. This goes for children and adults alike. You can time yourself with a timer or a fun song if that helps.
The Right Way to Floss
You also need to floss every evening, as this removes what a toothbrush’s bristles cannot reach. Kids should start this process as soon as there are teeth sitting next to each other. You can use a floss pick or take a 20-inch length of tape and wrap each end around one of your thumbs, and hold it tight with your index finger. Run the tape up and down each side of every tooth, moving below the gum line each time. This helps extract the bits of food caught between the teeth or in the gum line.
Do You Have Any Questions?
With the right steps, you can limit plaque buildup and protect your smile. To find out more about caring for your teeth and gums properly each day, then please call Cedar West Family Dentistry at (612) 861-7188. You can also find us at 1537 E 66th Street, Suite #101 Richfield, MN 55423.