Preventive Dentistry 101

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy for life is not difficult, but it takes knowledge, dedication, and consistency. It’s about developing good habits early on and sticking with them. If you have children, it’s about teaching them to care for their teeth from an early age. And when it comes to brushing and flossing, technique matters.

If you live in or around Kennewick Washington, Marineland Dental Care wants to be your partner in oral health. We offer comprehensive dental services for you and your entire family. To schedule an appointment, call our office at (509) 591-0515.

A healthy mouth requires regular trips to see us and good habits at home. Here’s how to start.

 

Use Proper Brushing Technique

Learning to brush correctly will go a long way in keeping your teeth and gums in great shape. You should brush at minimum when you wake up and before you go to bed. If you want to be a superstar brusher, you will brush after each meal, too.

Brush for two minutes, and hold the toothbrush at a 45° angle to your gums. The brush should be moved in short back-and-forth or circular motions, and be sure to reach all surfaces of the teeth: fronts, backs, and chewing areas. Pay attention to the gumline as well, as plaque and tartar tend to build up there. You should even brush your tongue!

A worn-out toothbrush doesn’t do its job as well. Replace toothbrushes after they begin to fray, or every few months (whichever comes first).   

It’s never too early to learn how to brush correctly. You can even “brush” your baby’s mouth before her teeth come in! Just wipe down her gums with a soft, damp washcloth. This will clean away bacteria and get her used to the feeling of taking care of her mouth.

 

Make Flossing a Habit

Flossing should be done at least once a day, and preferably after every meal. It gets rid of food stuck between the teeth, and helps remove stubborn bacteria and plaque. You should use 18” of floss at a time (don’t skimp!), wrapping it around your middle fingers. When you go between the teeth, make sure the floss rubs against the enamel. Curve the floss around each tooth at the gumline. When you move to a new tooth, use a clean section of floss.

 

Visit Us Twice a Year

You can do everything right at home, but if you don’t visit your dentist every six months, you are not doing your teeth and gums any favors.

At each routine checkup, Dr. Hadley will conduct a thorough examination. Not all dental problems come with symptoms in their early stages. Dr. Hadley will be able to spot signs of gum disease and tooth decay before you realize anything’s wrong. We also have X-rays and other diagnostic technology that enable us to catch things before they are visible to the naked eye.  

You will also receive a professional cleaning at Marineland Dental Care. Our hygienists will remove stuck-on tartar and plaque that you won’t be able to reach at home. And we will polish your teeth so they look as clean as they are!  

 

Eat Right For Your Teeth

What you put into your body has an enormous impact on your overall health and oral health. Choose foods that are rich in minerals and vitamins. A few things that are especially beneficial for your mouth are:

  • Dairy products. Yogurt, milk, and cheese contain lots of calcium and protein, which help build up tooth enamel and keep out bacteria. Cheese is believed to actually raise the pH level in your mouth, which protects your teeth from cavities.
  • Leafy greens. These colorful veggies contain calcium and folic acid, which is thought to help prevent gum disease.
  • Fibrous fruits and vegetables. Apples, carrots, and other crunchy produce stimulate saliva flow and help keep your mouth clean.
  • Nuts. Nuts are low in sugar and packed with nutrients. Chewing on them increases saliva production. If you want an excellent between-meal snack, grab a handful of nuts.

 

Choose Water

Go down the beverage aisle of any store, and the options are mind boggling. But when it comes to your teeth, the healthiest choice is simple: water. And (assuming your water supply isn’t compromised for some reason) tap water is the way to go. Unlike bottled water, most municipal water supplies are fortified with tooth-strengthening fluoride.

 

Take good care of your teeth and gums, and they will serve you well for the rest of your life. And visit the dentist every six months. If you live in or around Kennewick, WA, call Marineland Dental Care at (509) 591-0515 or complete our online contact form. We can’t wait to see you!

 

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