The American Dental Association recommends visiting the dentist at least twice per year to have your teeth cleaned and your mouth completely examined. While this preventative care can go a long way toward helping you have a healthy smile, only thinking about caring for your teeth twice per year is definitely not enough to ensure good oral health. Incorporating a dental hygiene routine in your daily life is essential to decreasing the amount of tartar that forms on your teeth and reducing your risk of gum disease.
Brushing your teeth is a crucial part of daily dental hygiene. The bristles of your toothbrush help to remove the sticky mix of food particles and bacteria called plaque that hardens into tartar and promotes tooth decay. To lift away as much of this plaque as possible, always use a toothbrush that fits easily into your mouth and that has a handle that is easy for you to grip. Most people benefit from Soft bristles, though you may need a different type depending on the health of your teeth and gums. Brush at least twice daily, being sure to clean the fronts and backs of each tooth as well as their biting surfaces.
Plaque doesn't just build up on the surfaces of the teeth. It can also collect in the tight spaces between the teeth and between the teeth and the gum line. An ordinary toothbrush isn't enough to remove this plaque effectively, making it important that you floss at least once per day. Use about 18 inches of floss and think of rubbing your teeth and gums as you move it back and forth. Never saw at your gums or make sharp motions, as this can cause irritation. Move the floss all the way along the gum line, not just in the spaces between the teeth for best results.
Brushing and flossing each day are the cornerstones of a dental hygiene routine, but you may need to add additional steps to your regimen if you have certain types of concerns. A dentist can advise you as to whether or not you might benefit from an interdental cleaner, an oral rinse or another at-home dental care product.
A daily dental hygiene routine goes hand in hand with regular visits to the dentist. If you're looking for a dentist in the Lawrence area for your regular checkups and cleanings, contact Randall L. Davis, DMD, PC to schedule an appointment.