Are your oral hygiene habits what they should be? At Vibrant Smiles in Waldorf, MD, your dentist, Dr. Michael Owens, stresses the importance of daily brushing, flossing, and healthy eating. After all, you only get one set of teeth and gums, and together, you and your dentist can work to prevent oral health problems for your best possible smile.
What are you taking in?
What you put in your mouth affects your oral health. In other words, dental hygiene is pretty basic. You should brush, floss and eat well. Don't smoke. Drink alcohol in moderation if you're an adult.
You see, preventive dentistry, specifically at-home oral hygiene and in-office prophylactic care, removes bacteria-filled plaque and tartar. This creates a low-acid environment so you're teeth remain decay-free and your gums, pink and healthy.
What are you doing?
The American Dental Association recommends the following practices as part of your daily hygiene routine.
First, brush twice a day for a full two minutes. An electric toothbrush is nice, but the jury is out on just how necessary this tool is, reports the Academy of General Dentistry.
Using your small- to medium-sized soft brush, gently scrub your teeth with fluoride toothpaste. Use a back and forth motion with the bristles at a 45-degree angle to your teeth. Cover the chewing and back surfaces, too.
Next, floss using waxed or plain strand floss or interproximal brushes. People with braces or extensive restorations may benefit from a water flosser. Whatever way you decide to go, do it consistently once a day.
Finally, eat well. Reduce your intake of sugary and starchy foods. Avoid tobacco in all forms, and increase these items in your daily diet:
- Calcium (dairy products and dark, leafy veggies are great choices)
- High fiber cereals, breads, and crackers
- Fruits and vegetables (the Oral Cancer Foundation says they may reduce the incidence of cancer)
- Protein (low-fat meats and fish)
What else can help?
Dr. Owens advises oral examinations and hygienic cleanings for all of his patients. Exams reveal decay, gum disease, bite issues and other potentially dangerous problems while they are still very treatable.
Cleanings remove plaque and tartar, reducing the chances of gum disease and tooth decay. When cleanings are done every six months, tooth enamel stays strong and gum tissue thrives.
If you think your dental practices could improve, just start now. Brush, floss, eat healthily and come to Vibrant Smiles Dental for a check-up and professional cleaning. Then, you can look forward to years of excellent oral health. Call today for your appointment: (301) 645-5182.