Good oral health is achieved through collaboration between yourself and your dentist. Routine, daily care on your part, combined with regular checkups with your dentist, can ensure that you have strong, healthy teeth throughout your life.
The two most important elements of your daily home dental care routine should be Brushing and Flossing.
Brushing twice daily is your most basic and key dental care habit. Brushing not only keeps your tooth surfaces clean and helps prevent cavities, but also helps keep the area where your teeth meet your gums healthy and can help prevent gum disease as well.
For good oral health, you should follow these guidelines, recommended by the American Dental Association:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of your brush should fit your mouth allowing you to reach all areas easily.
- Replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth.
- Make sure to use an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste.
The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs carefully evaluates the evidence according to objective guidelines.
- Take the time to clean thoroughly, and don’t rush.
- Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh.
- Be sure to keep your equipment clean: rinse out your toothbrush after each use and store vertically so it can air dry. Avoid placing in containers, where bacteria can grow.
For an easy reference, download and print the ADA’s pdf on proper brushing technique:
How to Brush
Of course, brushing your teeth is just one part of what should be your personal oral care routine. Because tooth decay-causing bacteria can still hide between your teeth, where toothbrush bristles can’t reach, you should also clean your teeth daily using floss or an interdental cleaner.
Plaque that is not removed can harden into tartar, a hard mineral deposit that forms on teeth and can only be removed through professional cleaning by a dental professional. When this happens, brushing and cleaning between teeth become more difficult, and gum tissue can become swollen or may bleed. This condition is called gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease.
For another easy reference, download and print the ADA’s pdf on proper flossing technique:
How to Floss
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