The important daily routine of oral hygiene protects oral health and prevents the development of disease. Improper technique or inadequate hygiene can take a toll on a person’s oral health. In addition to practicing proper oral hygiene, patients should schedule two dental checkups and cleanings each year with their dentist.
How often should I brush?
You should brush your teeth at least twice a day but not more than three times. A thorough brushing session takes about two to three minutes. This amount of time is needed to remove surface debris from teeth, gums, the tongue, and the roof of the mouth.
When brushing, be sure to scrub teeth and gums in gentle, circular motions. Aggressive brushing can damage the gingiva and wear down tooth enamel.
Do I really have to floss?
Yes, you do need to floss every day. Flossing improves oral hygiene by removing debris and plaque between teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach. An added benefit to flossing is improved periodontal health. Regular flossing strengthens and stimulates the gingiva, which helps prevent the development of gum disease.
We recommend flossing every night just before bed. Be sure to use floss approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). Some patients find that waxed floss is gentler on their gums.
What type of toothpaste should I use?
Any toothpaste you purchase should have the ADA seal of approval. It should also contain fluoride. This naturally-occurring mineral strengthens the enamel surface of teeth, which can prevent tooth decay and tooth wear. Avoid whitening toothpastes as they contain harsh abrasives that can harm tooth enamel and increase tooth sensitivity.
Is an electric toothbrush superior to a manual one?
Many patients enjoy electric toothbrushes but proper brushing with a manual toothbrush is also effective at preventing disease. The type of toothbrush you use is really a matter of preference. It is important, however, to use brushes approved by the ADA and brush heads with soft bristles.
Our practice is committed to helping our patients achieve vibrant oral health through proper hygiene and preventive dentistry. Call our team today to schedule a checkup.