Oral Health Care – The Basics

Not taking care of your mouth can have effects far more devastating than embarrassingly bad breath. Poor oral health is also the main cause for tooth decay and gum disease. Though most of us have been taught the basics of oral health care since childhood, many of us don’t always adhere to those basics.

At-Home Care

Perhaps the most important element of your oral health is how well you take care of your teeth at home. Brushing twice and flossing once is the routine guide to daily oral hygiene. However, performing these rituals incorrectly can cause more harm than good. Follow these steps for effective tooth brushing and flossing:

  • Although grimy teeth may give you the urge to scrub them clean, even the dirtiest teeth should be gently brushed with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Hard scrubbing and harsh bristles can rub away your tooth’s enamel, the protective layer that coats the tooth’s surface.
  • Take your time. It should not take you less than two minutes to thoroughly and completely brush every surface of every tooth.
  • Take care to brush along the gum line, as well. Bacterial plaque has a tendency to crawl between the tooth and the gum tissue, and if left unattended, these bacteria can ignite gum inflammation, gingivitis, and gum disease.

Long-Term Care

Even the best oral hygiene routine can leave something to be desired. If you neglect, or are unable, to remove any trace amount of plaque, it will harden (calcify) into tartar within 48 hours. Tartar is more destructive than plaque, because it cannot be removed with a toothbrush or floss. Professional cleaning is only one of the benefits you can enjoy from your six-month dental checkup and cleaning appointments. Your dentist and hygienist will also carefully remove the traces of plaque and tartar that linger, as well as thoroughly inspect your mouth for early signs of decay or infection.

If you’ve lost sight of the basics of good hygiene and dental health, then don’t worry; our experts our here to help you get back on track! Schedule an appointment with one of our dentists by calling our Spring, TX, dentist’s office on Cypresswood Drive or in Auburn Lakes at 281-320-2000.