Oral Hygiene Routine
Your mouth has many important functions. It enables you to eat, speak, and express all kinds of emotions. There are numerous different components in your mouth that make all of this possible. For all of these parts to remain healthy and functional, it is imperative that you take proper care of your mouth. This requires a good oral hygiene routine. State Street Dental can help.
Signs of Oral Health IssuesSeveral signs can indicate that there is an oral health issue present. Common symptoms of oral health issues include:
BrushingIt is recommended by the American Dental Association, or ADA, that you brush your teeth at least twice a day. Every time that you brush, you should do so for at least 2 full minutes. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle against your gums. Gently and thoroughly brush all surfaces of all of your teeth, including the fronts, backs, and chewing surfaces.
Make sure that you do not brush too hard. While brushing hard can seem like a good idea for removing stubborn buildup, it can be detrimental. Aggressive brushing can cause gum recession and can wear away your tooth enamel. Make sure that you change your toothbrush every 3 months or sooner if you notice the bristles beginning to fray.
FlossingIn addition to brushing, it is also recommended that you floss your teeth at least once a day. Flossing is necessary to clean the spaces between your teeth, where the bristles of your toothbrush cannot reach. Take approximately 18 inches of floss and wind it between your two middle fingers until there are about 1 to 2 inches of floss between them. Gently work the floss back and forth between your teeth, being careful not to force it or snap it against your gums. Scrape the floss up and down the sides of each tooth, ensuring to get the floss just below the gum line. Use a new section of floss for each space.
Do not forget about the spaces behind your very back teeth. If you find regular floss difficult to use, you may use floss picks instead. These are small plastic tools with a section of floss on them. These tools are particularly helpful for those with poor manual dexterity. They can also help floss on the go.
Routine Dental VisitsThe ADA also recommends professional dental cleanings and exams at least twice a year, or once every 6 months. Cleanings are performed to help prevent oral health issues such as cavities and gum disease. Using specialized tools, we clean all surfaces of your teeth, including those that you may not be able to clean properly on your own. This allows us to eliminate all plaque and bacteria, as well as tartar buildup. Tartar is calcified, or hardened, plaque that cannot be removed no matter how often or how well you brush.
Following cleanings, exams are performed. Dental exams are done to check your teeth and gums for early warning signs of a variety of different oral health issues. By detecting issues in their earliest stages, we can provide you with the treatments needed to prevent more serious complications from developing.
A good oral hygiene routine can help to ensure that your mouth, and all of its components, remain healthy and functional. For more information, call State Street Dental today at (971) 332-3020.