Oral hygiene is the best defense against a variety of dental problems. Taking care of your smile and oral health can prevent a bevy of health problems. Oral health has been linked to other health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and many more preventable diseases.
To keep your oral health in top shape, we recommend visiting your dentist every six months, and may recommend more frequent visits based on your current oral health. When you aren't in the dental chair in our Smyrna, Tennessee dental office, there are a few things you can do to keep your oral health in check.
Brushing your teeth is the most important part of your oral health or dental care routine. The American Dental Association recommends you brush your teeth no less than twice a day using a soft-bristled brush. Your toothbrush should be big enough that you can reach all areas of your mouth easily, and should be replaced 3-4 times a year.
When brushing, use your brush at a 45-degree angle and use a fluoride toothpaste. Using short strokes, brush your teeth starting with the outer surfaces, and moving then to chewing and interior surfaces of your teeth.
Once each surface of the tooth has been brushed, brush your tongue and cheeks to remove any leftover bacteria to ensure that you have properly cleaned your teeth.
When you've properly brushed each surface of the tooth, you can expect to spend about 2 minutes to complete the entire process. Do this twice a day, or after every meal if possible, and your oral health will be in peak shape!
Additionally, adding floss to your daily dental care routine and limiting sugary snacks and drinks in between brushings helps keep the surface free of plaque-producing bacteria.
Additionally, on every visit to the office we will inform you at how well you are doing on your brushing and flossing. If needed, we will spend some time showing you the areas you are missing and ensuring you have any hygiene tool you need, including a new toothbrush, Oral B triumph electric toothbrush, floss threader, etc.
Brushing and Flossing with Braces
You will notice that it is much harder to keep your teeth clean with braces. The best way to ensure a clean and healthy smile, even with braces, is by consistently brushing and flossing. Food particles can accumulate on teeth and in braces and, over time, turn into plaque.
If plague remains on the teeth for any length of time, it will leave a permanent white scar on the surface on the teeth. The bacteria that results from this accumulation can lead to gum disease, tooth decay and even loss of teeth.
To avoid these problems while you have braces, take special care of your braces, teeth and gums to ensure you will have the best possible result. Below are some tips:
Brush 4 times daily during orthodontic treatment:
- In the morning after breakfast
- After lunch or right after school
- After supper
- At bedtime
Replace your toothbrush more often
This is due to your appliances. As soon as the bristles start to wear down or fray, replace your toothbrush with a new one. It may be difficult for your toothbrush to reach some areas under your archwire.
Make sure you floss and use an antibacterial mouthwash and fluoride treatment throughout your orthodontic treatment, too. This helps achieve optimal oral hygiene.