Our teeth are something we sometimes take for granted. We want them to look good, but do we always do everything we can to keep them healthy?
At Marineland Dental Care in Kennewick, WA, we want to help you keep your teeth healthy. This includes doing our part at during routine exams twice a year, but it also includes making sure you know the correct way to care for your teeth between visits.
Did you know that there’s a right way and a wrong way to care for your teeth? Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Why You Should Care For Your Teeth
Taking care of your teeth may sometimes seem like a chore, but it’s something you need to do if you want to keep your teeth for a long, long time.
Let’s start with brushing. Brushing your teeth is important for many reasons: It can help keep your teeth free of tartar, and it can remove plaque, a sticky film of bacteria. If plaque is left on the teeth, it can lead to cavities, gum disease, and maybe even tooth loss.
It’s just as important to know how to brush your teeth. Not brushing for a long enough period when you brush or or using a brush that is too stiff can result in problems with your teeth and gums.
The Dangers Of Not Brushing At All
If you don’t brush your teeth regularly, bacteria will build up in the form of plaque. Brushing helps keep this plaque from forming in the first place, but it also helps remove it once it’s there. If plaque is left unchecked, it turns into tartar. Tartar is a much harder substance than plaque and can only be removed by a dental professional.
Plaque can cause a host of problems: It can cause tooth decay and gum disease and cause you to develop bad breath because the germs are allowed to multiply.
Have you noticed how your teeth can become stained and discolored from, for example, drinking coffee or soda? Not brushing lets the stains remain on your teeth.
If you neglect your teeth for too long, you’ll start losing them. That’s not the only problem either. There is a connection between poor oral health and heart disease!
How To Care For Your Teeth
To get and keep a healthy mouth, the American Dental Association recommends that you:
- Brush your teeth twice a day (for about 2 minutes each time)
- Use a soft-bristled brush that can get into crevices better.
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months.
- Use a fluoride toothpaste.
The Proper Brushing Technique
To get the best results from brushing, you should angle your toothbrush at 45 degrees to the gums. Then:
- Put a small amount of fluoride toothpaste on your brush.
- Gently move the brush back and forth in short strokes. No need to scrub.
- Brush the outside of your teeth and the backs. Make sure you get the surfaces of your teeth where bacteria and decay are more likely to settle.
- Hold your toothbrush vertically and make up and down strokes to clean the inside surfaces of your teeth.
- Brush your tongue with your toothbrush or use a tongue scraper.
Most people don’t come close to brushing for 2 minutes. Use an egg timer or smartphone timing app to make sure you’re brushing for the whole two minutes.
You should floss at least once daily in order to remove debris and bacteria from the areas between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach.
What Not To Do
It might seem logical to use a toothbrush with hard bristles if you want to remove stubborn stains from your teeth. Actually force is not the answer because using a hard brush can damage sensitive gum tissue and possibly the enamel on your teeth. The enamel on your teeth is pretty tough but it can be harmed.
Another advantage to a soft toothbrush is that its bristles bend easier, which allows them to get into the crevices of your teeth. That lets you clean places where bacteria can hide.
Get Regular Checkups
Even if you’re great about taking care of your oral health by brushing and flossing, you still need to see your dentist twice a year. At Marineland Dental Care in Kennewick, WA, we can get any of the plaque and bacteria that you can’t get at home.
We can also look for any other dental issues that you might be having and take care of them before they get too serious. To set up an appointment, call our office at 509-591-0515 or you can use our convenient online form to reach us.