Oral Health Care Basics for Teeth
Think you know everything about proper brushing and flossing techniques? Understand the basics and what you can do to promote oral health.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
- Use the proper equipment.
- Daily flossing is important.
- Take it one tooth at a time.
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.
Why is basic dental care important?
Practicing basic dental care:
- Prevents tooth decay.
- Prevents gum (periodontal) disease camera.gif, which can damage gum tissue and the bones camera.gif that support teeth camera.gif, and in the long term can lead to the loss of teeth.
- Shortens time with the dentist and dental hygienist, and makes the trip more pleasant.
- Saves money. By preventing tooth decay and gum disease, you can reduce the need for fillings and other costly procedures.
- Helps prevent bad breath. Brushing and flossing rid your mouth of the bacteria that cause bad breath.
- Helps keep teeth white by preventing staining from food, drinks, and tobacco.
- Improves overall health.
- Makes it possible for your teeth to last a lifetime.
Are there ways to avoid dental problems?
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.
Read more articles on Understand Oral Health Conditions.
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Jan 17, 2013
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