Are you doing everything you can to keep your teeth strong and healthy? Moundsville, WV, dentist Dr. Garry Lewis explains how your oral hygiene habits affect your teeth and gums.
How does oral hygiene protect your smile?
Plaque removal is the goal of brushing and flossing. The colorless bacterial film causes cavities and hardens into a deposit called tartar if you don't brush and floss thoroughly. Unlike plaque, tartar can't be removed at home and is visible as a gray or brown substance on of teeth. Tartar build up is a factor in gum disease.
Fortunately, maintaining a good oral hygiene routine will decrease the amount of plaque and tartar on your teeth. The best oral hygiene regimen has these factors in common:
- Speed: When it comes to brushing, longer is better. When you brush too quickly, you're likely to leave plaque behind on your teeth. Brushing for a full two minutes is the best way to remove every speck of the sticky deposit.
- Consistency: Brushing twice a day, every day will keep plaque from multiplying. If you skip even one brushing session, you may be at increased risk for a cavity. In addition to brushing your teeth, you'll also want to floss once each day. Flossing removes plaque between teeth and also dislodges food debris that can cause bad breath.
- The Right Tools and Techniques: Scrubbing as hard as you can may be the best way to remove a spot from the kitchen floor, but it's not a good toothbrushing strategy. Brushing too hard can erode your tooth enamel and cause your gums to recede. Instead, hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and use gentle pressure to clean each tooth. Replace your soft-bristled brush every three months or when the bristles become flayed. Both string and tape floss tape work well, although string may be more comfortable if your teeth are tightly spaced.
- Regular Dental Visits: Do you visit our Moundsville office every six months? During regular visits, you'll receive a dental examination and a dental cleaning that will remove plaque and tartar. Visiting every six months ensures that any cavities you do develop are detected and treated when they're still small and haven't caused too much damage.
Good oral hygiene is the key to protecting your smile. Is it time for your next appointment? Call Moundsville, WV, dentist Dr. Garry Lewis at (304) 845-5651 to schedule your visit.