While checkups and cleanings help keep teeth and gums strong and healthy, you also need to care for your smile each day while at home. While many people brush and floss, they often do so incorrectly, which still leaves their smile vulnerable to poor oral health. In today’s blog, your Ankeny, IA, dentist looks at how to properly care for your smile from home.
Brushing the Right Way
First, you should take time to brush your teeth twice a day, no exceptions. You should do this first thing in the morning, and then once more before going to bed at night. Each session should take about two minutes, to ensure you’re reaching every available surface of your teeth with enough time to thoroughly scrub away food particles. We suggest using a toothbrush with soft bristles, as this avoids inadvertent damage to tooth enamel should you brush too hard, and prevents gum irritation too. You can use electric or manual, whichever you prefer, just as long as you use it! Finally, be sure you use a toothpaste with fluoride, as this provides a re-mineralizing agent to strengthen tooth enamel and lower the risks of tooth decay.
While brushing is very important, flossing is absolutely critical. You see, even the best brushing cannot reach the food particles trapped between the teeth or along the gum line. For that, you need floss tape. Take an 18-inch length of floss, wrap each end around your index finger, and hold it taut with your thumbs. Move the tape up and down each side of every tooth, and dip below the gum line in a “c” motion to dislodge trapped food particles. This is crucial for preventing gingivitis, gum disease, tooth decay, and dental infection.
Removing Your Plaque Buildup
The goal of brushing and flossing is to help control the amount of plaque and tartar that accumulate on the surfaces of the teeth. This buildup is the result of bacteria breaking down food particles, creating a sticky layer that erodes protective enamel and inflames gum tissues, boosting the risks of tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, and teeth stains. Every six months you should also see us for a cleaning, as a dental cleaning can actually remove any and all buildup clinging to your smile. If you have any questions, then contact our team today.
Do You Have Questions About Preventive Dentistry?
Our team wants to help you and your family continue to maintain strong and bright smiles. To learn more about a preventive approach to dental care, then please schedule an appointment by calling Peddicord Family Dentistry in Ankeny, IA, today at (515) 963-3339. We also proudly serve patients of all ages who live in Bondurant, Polk City, and all surrounding communities.