Good oral hygiene is the key to preventing cavities and reducing your risk of tooth loss. The Andover, MA, dentists at Dentistry by Design discuss oral hygiene and share a few tips that will you protect and preserve your smile.
Why is oral hygiene so important?
If you don't brush frequently or thoroughly, you'll increase your risk of tooth decay. Throughout the day, a sticky bacterial film called plaque covers your teeth. The substance is most noticeable in the morning because it makes your teeth feel rough and sticky. The combination of plaque and sugars in foods create a very strong acid that attacks your tooth enamel and causes cavities. Brushing offers an easy way to remove plaque.
Removing plaque also reduces the chance that you'll develop gum disease. Plaque turns into tartar, a hard deposit that causes gray or brown spots on your teeth. Tartar is not only unsightly but also irritates your gums and can cause gum disease. Unfortunately, brushing doesn't get rid of tartar. Once tartar develops, you'll need a dental cleaning to remove it.
How can I keep my smile strong and sparkling?
Following these tips will help protect you from cavities and gum disease:
- Establish a Brushing Routine: Brushing at the same time in the morning and evening will make it hard to forget about this important task. Make sure you devote at least two minutes to brushing. If you brush for less than two minutes, you may not remove all traces of plaque. Fluoride, a substance contained in all toothpastes approved by the American Dental Association, helps strengthen tooth by remineralizing areas weakened by acids.
- Floss Daily: Floss removes plaque between teeth, preventing cavities in those areas. Floss at least once each day to prevent plaque buildup.
- Use Mouthwash: Anti-cavity mouthwash freshens your breath and kills harmful bacteria.
- Limit Sugary Foods and Candies: Lower your tooth decay risk by substituting carrots, apples and other tooth-friendly foods for candy and foods that contain sugar or carbohydrates.
- Visit the Dentist Every Six Months: A dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar is part of every regular visit in our Andover, MA, office. Cleanings offer a simple way to protect your smile.
Protect your sparkling smile by practicing good oral hygiene habits. Call Andover, MA, dentists at Dentistry by Design at (978) 475-5333 to schedule your next checkup.