Understanding the Basics of Preventative Dental Care
If you are lucky enough to be a patient that has never had a cavity or required a root canal, that must mean you are doing everything right – right? That is not always the case! Preventative dental care is critical to maintaining your mouth now and in the future. By practicing good habits every day, you can avoid more potentially serious issues in the future. What are some of the basics of preventative dental care?
Proper Brushing at Home
Everyone should brush their teeth at home twice a day. Brushing at all is better than not brushing, but using the proper technique is essential to make sure that you are getting the maximum benefits out of brushing your teeth. Tilt your toothbrush at a 45° angle and brush both your teeth and the gum line. Do not press down too hard, and choose a soft-bristled brush.
When you brush your teeth, make sure that you brush the inside of your teeth, the chewing surfaces, and the exterior. The entire process should take you about two minutes to complete. If you find that you are only spending a few seconds brushing, it’s a sign you are not doing a thorough enough job. The next time that you visit your dentist, ask for assistance in learning how to brush your teeth the right way. It’s never a bad idea to be curious!
Regularly Flossing Your Teeth
Unfortunately, even people who do a good job brushing on a regular basis sometimes slack when it comes to flossing. It’s important to floss your teeth every day. Floss can reach where the bristles on your toothbrush cannot. As a result, it can remove plaque, food debris, and bacteria that could lead to tooth decay if not properly removed.
Choose a floss that comfortably fits in between your teeth. When flossing, move the floss along the side of the tooth and underneath the gum line to dislodge additional debris. Providing that you do not have gum disease and your gums are healthy, you should not experience bleeding. If you are not sure how to properly floss, ask your dentist during your next appointment.
Visiting the Dentist
Even if you do not think that you have any tooth decay and haven’t experienced any discomfort, you should visit the dentist two times a year. During this visit, you will have x-rays taken, a cleaning will be performed, and your dentist in Mission Viejo can look at your mouth. Dentists are true professionals, which means that they understand the signs of decay and issues better than you do. In many cases, your dentist can identify small problems before they have the chance to worsen and turn into something much more severe.
Maintaining a Balanced Diet
Eating a balanced diet is great for your physical health, including your oral health. To reduce the chances of tooth decay and keep your mouth in the best shape possible throughout your life, limit sugar and drink plenty of water. Water helps to rinse out food debris before you ever lift your toothbrush. Eating a diet that is rich in fruit, vegetables, and minerals is also a great way to make sure that your smile is strong for as long as possible.
Abstaining from Smoking
Smoking and using chewing tobacco can lead to permanent, irreversible damage to your teeth. While some of the damage is cosmetic, like staining, other types of damage can be deadly, like oral cancer. Smoking harms your gums, your teeth, and your overall health. It isn’t easy to quit smoking, and you shouldn’t feel embarrassed about needing help. Speak with your dentist and primary care doctor for tips and assistance in smoking cessation.
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