It’s good to review the basics from time to time.
It’s one of the reasons that so many professions encourage continuing education. It’s not just to learn new techniques (although that is part of it); it’s also about keeping the fundamental reasons that you do things in the forefront of your mind.
It’s why we stress the importance of preventive oral care at our dentist office in Kennewick, WA.
You need to visit Marineland Dental Care for routine cleanings and examinations, but what you do at home on a day-to-day basis may be even more important to your oral health.
We encourage all our patients to visit our office multiple times every year. A good guideline is to come every six months, although patients who are at high risk for gum disease or other problems may want to come more frequently.
During your visits, you will get to interact with our fun staff, and you will receive a professional cleaning and examination.
We will remove any plaque or tartar buildup that is on your teeth. We will floss between your teeth to remove anything and as a way to check the health of your gums.
Your visits are just so we can clean and polish your teeth. We also watch for changes that may be a cause for concern.
And we don’t just mean cavities. If we see gum disease developing, we can advise you on the appropriate steps you should take.
We may use X-rays to monitor any changes in the alignment of your teeth. This could be done in preparation for orthodontic treatment, in anticipation of wisdom teeth erupting, or in hopes of preventing bigger problems.
We also will examine the soft tissues in your mouth. If we see anything about the coloration, this could indicate oral cancer or other problems. While we hope none of our patients ever have that problem, we also know earlier detection goes a long way toward improving the effectiveness of your treatment.
Coming to the dentist a few times every year should be a part of maintaining your oral health, but your daily hygiene routine is the best way to prevent problems.
Brushing and flossing your teeth daily will remove many bacteria, which cause cavities and periodontal disease.
You may be thinking that you brush every day and floss sometimes. That may not be enough, however.
The American Dental Association has some recommendations about brushing and flossing. We want to take a moment to remind you what they are.
▶︎ Brushing Your Teeth
The ADA recommends a 2-by-2 approach to brushing. You should brush your teeth twice every day for two minutes each time.
You should use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste with fluoride. (Look for the ADA seal if you aren’t sure.) You only need a small amount of toothpaste to clean your teeth. A dab about the size of a pea is plenty. Just be sure to scrub your teeth on all sides during your two minutes.
When you are finished brushing spit out the toothpaste, and scrub your tongue. This removes more bacteria and helps your breath smell fresh.
Remember to rinse your toothbrush when you are finished and store it in an upright position. You should replace your toothbrush every three or four months.
▶︎ Flossing Your Teeth
Flossing is something that you should do every day although surveys suggest that a majority of Americans don’t do this. (This could explain why experts estimate that around 80 percent of us will have gum disease during our lives.)
Why is flossing important? It cleans parts of your teeth that you can’t clean with a toothbrush.
Use any dental floss that you like. You will need about 18 inches or so to floss. After wrapping the ends around your middle fingers, grip about an inch in the middle with your index fingers and thumbs.
Work the floss between each tooth, hugging it around the sides and under the gumline. Wind the floss as needed to use a clean piece between each tooth. When you finish, throw the floss away.
If dental floss is too difficult to you, then consider alternatives tools such as flossers (which have a small handle with a short piece of floss on the opposite end) or water flossers.
Keep Your Mouth Healthy
A healthy mouth involves more than keeping your teeth clean. You also need to take steps to prevent gum disease, and that’s why you should brush and floss daily and visit Marineland Dental Care a couples times each year.