Preventive Dentistry: Maintaining Healthy Teeth

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Good dental habits include in-home dental care practiced on a regular basis, as well as treatment by a professional dental staff. The primary goal is to prevent oral disease before it even begins. A crucial part of preventive dentistry is also patient education about at-home care and nutrition. Important at-home care that can ward off dental disease includes proper brushing and flossing.

1. Toothbrush

Use a soft nylon toothbrush with round-ended bristles, but not natural bristles, since they carry bacteria. The brush should be replaced at least every three months. Worn products can be less effective and can harm the gums.

2. Toothpaste

An important ingredient for effective toothpaste is fluoride for preventing tooth decay.

3. Tooth brushing

The brushing technique should be gentle with the bristles placed at a 45-degree angle to cover the tooth surface and gum line. Brush the inner surfaces of the teeth and tilt the brush vertically to brush the front teeth.

4. Floss

Floss at least once a day to remove plaque from between teeth and at the gum line. Flossing will help prevent gingivitis, or gum disease.

5. Mouthwash

Mouthwash decreases bacteria in the mouth, which freshens breath and protects teeth and gums from disease. Those who have trouble adequately eliminating plaque due to disease, disability or age may benefit from these antiplaque agents.

6. Nutrition

Healthy food is necessary for the body and for healthy teeth. When eating sweets, the rule for healthier teeth is to not just limit the amount of sugar consumed, but also the frequency. Keep treats to once a day rather than eating them continuously throughout the day.

7. Chewing gum

Sugar-free chewing gum is recommended as dental care on the go, though not as a substitute for proper oral hygiene. Sugar-free chewing gum can normalize the pH in the mouth after eating and stimulate the production of saliva.

8. Check-up

Unless otherwise directed by your dentist, schedule visits for check-ups and cleaning twice a year. X-rays are usually conducted once a year to check for deeper problems in the teeth. Problems can be identified and resolved in their earliest stages.

9. Prophylaxis

In addition to home oral hygiene, professional tooth cleaning is indispensable for beautiful, well-kept teeth and healthy gums. Tartar buildup often cannot be removed through at-home care and must be removed by a professional to prevent gingivitis.

 


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