Many people think maintaining good dental/oral hygiene is all about brushing your teeth, but it’s not. While brushing your teeth is an integral part of maintaining your teeth, there are several other things you should do regularly. Read on to learn more about them in this article.
Brushing Your Teeth Correctly
One of the most common misconceptions people have about brushing their teeth is that using a hard-bristled toothbrush cleans better. However, this isn’t correct, as firm bristles tend to put you at a higher risk of gum disease due to ineffective cleaning, gum recession, and injuries. Instead you should always go for a soft toothbrush and change them once every three months. If you can afford them, Sonic toothbrushes work great as well and are safe to use with dental implants and soft tissue grafting. How you brush your teeth matters as well. Hold your brush firmly with your fingertips rather than your palms and avoid brushing too hard. Always brush with an “up and down” motion on the teeth rather than back and forth in a “saw-like” motion which often results in gum recession and can create ridges in your teeth. Last but not least, be sure to brush at least twice daily (morning and night, ideally) using a fluoride toothpaste to rid your mouth of harmful bacteria that may cause tooth cavities or gum disease (gingivitis).
Flossing your teeth is an essential part of oral hygiene because it helps to remove leftover food particles between your teeth that could encourage the growth of harmful bacteria in your mouth. Regular flossing also helps prevent bad breath (halitosis). It’s best to floss right before brushing. To floss your teeth correctly, you want to use a soft teflon string rather than a taut thread that could cause gum injury. Hold the floss between your index finger and thumb and gently go up and down in a “C-shape” between the spaces of each tooth to dislodge food particles. You may also rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash or water afterwards.
Lifestyle changes that promote good oral hygiene include eating healthy and quitting smoking. Sugar-laden snacks and treats not only make you unhealthy, they also encourage the growth of harmful bacteria that increase the risk of tooth decay and cavities. The high acid content in most fast foods can cause the enamel of the tooth to break down over time. Smoking is a significant contributor to gum disease as it increases the production of bacterial plaque and delays healing if the gums become infected. Another harmful effect of smoking is tooth staining; people that smoke frequently may notice a yellow color that turns brown after years due to the nicotine from cigarettes or tobacco. Nicotine and tobacco use can also cause mouth cancer and smokers are 10 times more susceptible than non-smokers. It’s important to be aware of these risks and how they impact your dental health.
Your Favorite Periodontist in Sugar Land, TX
Dr. Bret Dyer and his team Fort Bend Periodontics and Implantology in Sugar Land, TX can take care of all your dental needs. At Fort Bend Periodontics and Implantology, we utilize the safest and most advanced treatments and technologies and offer flexible treatment plans to suit your needs and budget. For more information about our services or to book a consultation, please contact us online or call us at (281) 957-8820.