Oral Hygiene 101 – Dental Maintenance

The most important part of a healthy smile is the proper maintenance of your teeth and gums. This requires consistency of oral care habits, such as brushing and flossing, as well as routine visits to the dental clinic. Embracing these tips, habits, and products will allow you to maintain your beautiful smile for life!

The mouth teems with bacteria, mostly harmless but some that cause disease. Fortunately, daily brushing and flossing, along with routine dental cleanings prevent these bacteria from reaching levels that might lead to tooth decay or gum disease. However, even with these basic precautions, bacteria may reach levels that can lead to infection if they aren’t controlled. This is often caused by a lack of oral hygiene, as well as certain medications like decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers and diuretics that reduce saliva flow.

A good oral hygiene routine is a combination of both daily brushing and flossing, and routine dental cleanings every 6 months. This is the only way to catch large cavities, reversing gum disease before it becomes severe, and preventing other serious health problems like heart disease or diabetes that are linked to poor oral health.

Using a soft-bristled toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste and spending two minutes each time brushing helps remove food particles and plaque. It’s also a good idea to use an antibacterial mouthwash that kills germs and freshens breath. In addition, eating a high-fiber diet and drinking plenty of water will help promote the production of saliva to wash away food and clean teeth. Finally, chewing sugar-free gum sweetened with xylitol encourages saliva production and gets rid of lingering food particles that could cause decay.

Routine cleanings performed by your hygienist help get to those hard-to-reach spots that your toothbrush and floss can’t. During these cleanings, your hygienist will remove tartar and other deposits that accumulate in areas that are difficult to access with regular brushing and flossing.

Your family dentist will also perform a procedure called root planing and crown lengthening (also known as gum disease treatment). This involves removing bacteria, toxic deposits, and loose tissue from the roots of your teeth down to where the bone and gum meet.

By maintaining consistent oral hygiene practices, regular dental visits and a balanced diet, you’ll be able to enjoy your beautiful smile for life! Remember, a healthy smile not only boosts confidence, it’s linked to your overall health and wellness.

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