A family dentist is a great person to talk to if you are looking for oral hygiene tips. Oral hygiene is the foundation of preventative dentistry, and taking good care of teeth can prevent most dental issues like gum disease and tooth decay.
6 Oral hygiene tips from a family dentist
Ready to make oral hygiene a priority? Here are some tips our family dentist wants you to know:
1. Spend at least two minutes on each brushing session
How long a person spends brushing their teeth matters. When dentists say to brush your teeth at least two times each day, they mean it. Plaque and bacteria have all day to build up on teeth and it takes about two minutes to clean them off. Spending two minutes to brush also gives the fluoride in the toothpaste time to seep into tooth surfaces and remineralize them.
2. Brush at least two times daily
This is so important, yet many people think brushing once a day counts as good oral hygiene. It does not. The goal of brushing is to eliminate plaque and bacteria from teeth surfaces. Both things build up on teeth during the day and during sleep.
Many dentists recommend brushing in the morning and right before going to bed. The most important time a person can brush is right before bed since bacteria and plaque have had all day to build up on teeth surfaces and saliva production is reduced during sleep. Saliva serves as a natural mouth cleanser that washes away plaque and bacteria.
3. Flossing is not optional
That is correct. Flossing is something people who are serious about oral hygiene should be doing each day. It is the most effective way to clean the tight spaces between teeth. Failing to floss leaves teeth susceptible to decay regardless of how often you brush.
4. Fluoride is essential
Ignore conspiracy theories that claim fluoride is bad for the body. It is not. And it happens to be good for teeth. Fluoride keeps the outer layer of teeth, called enamel, strong, protecting the inner layers from tooth decay.
5. Be careful with sugar
Sugary treats can brighten the worst days, but they are not so great for teeth. Sugar is acidic so it eats away at tooth surfaces. Oral bacteria also thrive in sugary conditions, so they are able to cause more damage when a person consumes sugary foods and beverages. Even foods that contain low amounts of sugar, such as starches like rice, can damage teeth and promote decay.
6. Keep your tongue clean
The tongue is a haven for oral bacteria so it should be cleaned during each brushing session. A whitish-looking tongue is often a sign of bacteria buildup.
Learn more about oral hygiene from our family dentist
Want more tips that will help you to keep your teeth and gums healthy? Contact our Peabody clinic to talk to our dentist.
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