Taking care of your oral health can help you enjoy better overall health. This includes brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, visiting the dentist regularly, and not smoking cigarettes or consuming alcohol. Here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions about oral care.
Poor oral hygiene habits are the number one cause of tooth decay and cavities. When you don't brush or floss your teeth as often as you should, plaque can form on your smile. Plaque is a sticky layer of bacteria that feeds on the sugars in food particles left on the teeth. If left untreated, the bacteria can erode the enamel and cause tooth decay.
Tooth decay is preventable through proper oral health care habits, including daily brushing and flossing and regular visits to the dentist's office for exams and cleanings. Brushing and flossing remove plaque from your teeth before it can turn into tartar or calculus. During your biannual dental visits, your dentist can remove the deposits without harming your teeth. The longer that plaque remains on your teeth, and the more time it has to degrade your enamel, the more damage it does. Visiting your dentist every six months is also necessary to ensure that cavities are identified and treated early. If cavities are left untreated for too long, they can eat through the outer layer of your tooth and cause pain. Cavities can also lead to root canal infections and tooth loss. Additionally, visiting your dentist regularly is important for identifying other oral health conditions like gum disease, oral cancer, or bruxism.
A toothbrush cannot reach the spaces between teeth to deep clean them, so it is important to floss regularly to remove food particles and plaque from between the teeth. You should wrap the floss around your middle fingers and gently slide it up and down between each tooth in an up-and-down motion. Your thumbs and index fingers should gently guide the floss to slide between each gap in your teeth.
The food we eat affects our oral health in many ways. So, you should be careful about what you eat. Certain foods can stick to your teeth and cause decay and hence, should be avoided. Foods that are high in sugars, like candy and soda, should also be limited. You should also avoid sticky foods like dried fruits, granola bars, and gummy vitamins. These foods tend to stay in the mouth longer than other foods, meaning they can linger on your teeth long after you've finished eating.
It depends on your oral health condition, but it is recommended that you visit your dentist at least twice a year for a professional cleaning. However, you should continue to visit your dentist as often as he or she recommends based on your oral health needs. For example, if you have braces or struggle with gum disease, you may need to schedule more frequent visits with our office. If you have not been to a dentist in a long while, you should expect to have several appointments in a short amount of time so that we can properly treat you and restore your dental health.
Electric toothbrushes remove more plaque than manual brushes, and they do it more efficiently. Brushing your teeth with an electric toothbrush takes less time overall compared to manually brushing your teeth with a toothbrush. The back-and-forth motion required to manually brush the teeth does not mechanically stimulate the gums to the same level of effectiveness as electric toothbrushes do. In fact, without a pulsating or vibrating action from the bristles, the gums do not respond as well to the brushing action. The result is inefficient removal of plaque. An electric toothbrush gets the job done quickly because the mechanical movement of its head stimulates the gums as well as the teeth. This means better cleaning in less time.
Visit Beautiful Dentistry at 2125 E Warner Rd #101, Tempe, AZ 85284, or call us at (480) 831-1700 to learn more about oral care.