When you brush your toothbrush only reaches two thirds of the surfaces of your teeth. Flossing removes what your toothbrush missed by reaching between teeth and stimulating gum tissue as well. Your family dentist or hygienist will teach you the correct technique for proper flossing.
You should brush your teeth twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste. And your daily oral hygiene regimen should include flossing at least once a day. Flossing before bed removes anything left behind by your toothbrush to prevent food debris from hardening into plaque.
The Problem with Plaque and Tartar
You don’t notice plaque until it has hardened on your teeth, usually most apparent at the gum line. Plaque starts out as a sticky substance which hardens over time and turns into tartar. A visit to the dentist is the only way hardened plaque can be removed from teeth.
If plaque is allowed to continue to build, the patient faces the threat of dental decay and possibly the onset of gum disease. The ways to prevention include:
Brush at least twice every day with a fluoridated toothpaste. An electric toothbrush is very beneficial especially for patients who tend to brush aggressively. The toothbrush provides the action needed to clean your teeth; you just provide the guidance making sure to reach all surfaces of your teeth.
Floss daily. There are multiple kinds of floss available … original, flavored, waxed, floss tape, floss picks … the selection is vast. Find one that you like, and use will be rewarded by healthier teeth and gums.
Limit sugary and processed foods. Your daily diet should be made up primarily of fruits, vegetables, proteins, dairy, and healthy grains. Drink water to stay hydrated. Soda and many sports drinks include lots of sugar; even diet sodas are no bargain as they contribute to the acids that provide the potential for dental damage.
Importance of Regular Dental Visits
Make sure you visit your family dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and exam. At each dental visit, hardened plaque is removed from teeth that has formed since your previous visit. Your teeth are polished to look their best; and your dentist performs an exam looking for areas of concern.
These exams are looking for decay (it’s much easier to treat a cavity before it has a chance to grow); broken or fractured teeth (correcting early might save the need for a root canal); and any suspicious sores or lesions are examined for oral cancer prevention.
If it’s time to schedule your next dental visit, contact the office of Dr. Andrew Holloman today.