According to the American Dental Association, "The mouth is a gateway into your body's overall  health." Maintaining a healthy mouth is simply a matter of taking care of your mouth, teeth, and gums every day. The results will last you a lifetime.

What steps should you take at home to keep a healthy mouth?

 

Good dental hygiene starts with clean teeth. Keeping your tooth surfaces clean helps prevent cavities. Keeping the area where your teeth meet your gums helps prevent gum disease.

 

Brushing basics include:

 

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes. Take your time and do a thorough job.
  • Pay attention to your technique. Direct the bristles towards the surface where your teeth meet your gums. Brush the outside, inside and chewing surfaces, and don't forget your tongue.
  • Use the right equipment. Use a soft-bristled brush that allows you to reach all areas and fits comfortably in your mouth. Use a power toothbrush if possible. It can help reduce plaque and gingivitis.
  • Take good care of your toothbrush. After brushing, rinse your toothbrush with water. Store it upright, separate from other toothbrushes and let it air dry between uses. Storing toothbrushes in closed containers may encourage the growth of bacteria and mold.
  • Replace your toothbrush regularly. Replace your toothbrush or the head for your power toothbrush every three or four months, or when the bristles become worn or frayed. Brush with a fluoride toothpaste which has the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance.

 

Floss every day.

 

You may think that flossing is not really necessary, but flossing removes trapped particles your toothbrush may have missed. Brushing cleans two of your tooth surfaces. Flossing also cleans the small spaces between the teeth. It also cleans the area between the base of the teeth and the gums, which promotes gum health. Both brushing and flossing are important for your dental hygiene. Some experts suggest flossing before brushing, because the flossing may pull some of the toothpaste between your teeth. Others recommend flossing before brushing so that you can brush out particles that have been removed by the flossing.

 

Consider using a mouth rinse.

 

You may also want to consider using mouth rinse. A mouth rinse not only freshens your breath, but it also helps prevent plaque, tartar, and gingivitis. You may wish to talk with your dentist about the best mouth rinse for you.

 

Pay attention to what you eat and drink.

 

What you eat and drink and how often affects your oral health, as well as your overall health. Watch out for sugary drinks, which coat your teeth. If not cleaned off, the sugar mixes with bacteria. Carbonated soft drinks may also contain citric and phosphoric acids. These can damage the enamel on your teeth. If you can't resist sugary drinks or sweet treats, clean your teeth as soon as possible after consuming them.

 

When should you visit the dentist for preventative treatments?

 

You should visit your dentist for cleaning and exams at least every six months, or as recommended. Good dental home care is important, but your dentist can spot problems you may not be aware of. Dental problems such as cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer can be discovered and treated in the early stages.

 

What are the warning signs that you need dental care to keep your mouth healthy?

 

Many of us tend to ignore the warning signs of dental problems. Here are several signs that indicate you need to see your dentist:

 

  • Bleeding. You may notice bleeding after brushing or flossing.
  • Aching or pain in your teeth or mouth.
  • Receding gums.
  • Dry mouth. If your body is unable to produce enough saliva to keep your mouth wet, there is an increased potential for cavities. Certain medicines may contribute to dry mouth.
  • Loose or shifting teeth.
  • Sores or bumps.

 

 

Here at  Stuart Prosthetic Dentistry, we are dedicated to helping you maintain the very best dental hygiene. For more information or an appointment, please contact us.