Basic dental care involves brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, seeing your dentist and/or dental hygienist for regular checkups and cleanings, and eating a mouth-healthy diet, which means foods high in whole grains, vegetables and fruits, and dairy products.
Practicing basic dental care:
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy requires good nutrition and regular brushing and flossing.
Brush your teeth twice a day—in the morning and before bed—and floss once a day. This removes plaque, which can lead to damaged teeth, gums, and surrounding bone.
Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride, which helps prevent tooth decay and cavities. Ask your dentist if you need a mouthwash that contains fluoride or one with ingredients that fight plaque. Look for toothpastes that have been approved by the American Dental Association.
Avoid foods that contain a lot of sugar. Sugar helps plaque grow.
Avoid using tobacco products, which can cause gum disease and oral cancer. Exposure to tobacco smoke (secondhand smoke) also may cause gum disease as well as other health problems.1
Practice tongue cleaning. You can use a tongue cleaner or a soft-bristle toothbrush, stroking in a back-to-front direction. Tongue cleaning is particularly important for people who smoke or whose tongues are coated or deeply grooved.
Schedule regular trips to the dentist based on how often you need exams and cleaning.
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