Are you proud of your pearly whites? Do friends regularly compliment you on your stellar smile? Do you want to do all you can to keep your teeth beautiful and healthy? If so, you probably already know that preventive dental care is essential. But do you know what healhty habits are most important to protecting your smile from common threats like cavities and even gum disease? If not, taking a bit of time to learn the do’s and don’ts of proper dental care can go a long way in keeping your smile in great, and beautiful, shape!
Don’t: Think Mouthwash Is a Substitute for Flossing
While mouthwash can be a great addition to a daily hygiene routine, it should never be viewed as a substitute for either toothbrushing or flossing. That’s because each of these steps is a key to protecting the teeth from tartar buildup.
Brushing helps to clean the front, backs and tops (or bottoms) of teeth, while flossing is absolutely essential to cleaning the small portions where crevices are formed between them.
So if you choose to use mouthwash to help freshen your breath, do so in moderation, but always knowing that it doesn’t exempt you from the need for daily flossing or brushing.
Do: You Need to See the Dentist, Even When Your Smile Is Healthy
Everyone is in need of routine dental checkups and exams, even those who seem fortunate enough to enjoy good oral health. From the age of one, forward, preventive dental visits can be instrumental in protecting the teeeth from tartar buildup that can lead to cavities, and also preventing gum disease from causing inflamation in the gums.
Most dentists recommend twice-annual visits. However, this is only a generalized guideline. For patients susceptible to dental issues, such as those suffering from chronic dry mouth as a result of an underlying medical condition or a side effect of medicine they might be taking, more frequent visits might actually be necessary to protect against common oral health threats.