Growing up, your parents and family dentist in Raleigh probably always reminded you to keep your teeth strong and healthy. Are your teeth strong and healthy now? You’ll be surprised to know that 90% of adults older than 20 have cavities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every four adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have at least one cavity. Are you part of that statistic?
If you haven’t been diligent in your oral care routine, you still have hope. One important thing to keep in mind is that brushing and flossing have certain techniques. The only way to get the most out of your dental hygiene practices is to ensure you’re doing them right.
So many patients end up with tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease even if they brush and floss every day. The reason? They weren’t following the rules. Don’t let your efforts go to waste. Make sure your oral care routine is precisely what your family dentist recommends.
The Ideal Oral Care Routine for Children and Adults
Why Should You Brush Your Teeth?
First of all, you must understand why brushing is necessary. Interestingly, many people think that they should brush to remove food debris from their last meal. The very purpose of brushing is to stop dental plaque from forming and turning into tartar. Dental plaque is a biofilm that collects on your teeth. It’s packed with cells, saliva, food debris, and bacteria. When left to linger, plaque can cause cavity formation, tooth decay, and periodontal disease.
What Toothbrush Should I Use?
If you go grocery shopping, you’ll find an entire rack filled with different toothbrushes that range in color, size, shape, and bristle type. Most people think that a toothbrush with stiff bristles can remove food debris better or that a bigger toothbrush is ideal.
But, from a dentist’s point of view, hard bristles will only cause premature enamel erosion and may even puncture your delicate gums. Furthermore, a big toothbrush will make it hard to clean specific areas in your mouth, especially your back teeth.
It doesn’t matter if it’s manual or electric. The best toothbrush should have soft bristles that can bend and reach the tiny spaces between your teeth.
How Often Should You Brush Your Teeth?
The American Dental Association suggests you brush your teeth two times a day for two minutes using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
Every time you brush, you are removing plaque and preventing them from collecting on the surfaces of your teeth and along the gum line. Brush your teeth 30 minutes after you’ve had your last meal. Don’t brush right away, or you’ll brush the acids against your teeth, leading to enamel erosion.
What’s the Right Way to Brush?
Dental health experts recommend you follow the Bass technique when brushing your teeth. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, pointing toward your gum line. Use gentle, short back and forth strokes. Also, ensure that the bristles reach the narrow spaces between your teeth. For your back teeth, use back and forth strokes.
How Often Should You Change Your Toothbrush?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest replacing your toothbrush every three to four months. If you continue using your toothbrush beyond four months, the bristles will become worn, and your toothbrush won’t be able to remove plaque on your teeth effectively.
Is Flossing Necessary?
Flossing is just as important as brushing. Brushing and flossing always go hand in hand as they make up your oral care routine. Flossing helps remove food particles and plaque lodged in between your teeth. Generally, dentists recommend you floss first before brushing.
How Often Should You Floss?
The American Dental Association suggests you floss at least once daily. It’s best if you do it before bedtime. Take at least 18 to 24 inches of dental floss, twist the ends, and wrap each end around the index fingers of your hands. Place the floss in between your teeth gently, then slide it up and down on the sides of both teeth. Do it on each tooth following the same technique.
Are You Looking for a Reliable Family Dentist in Raleigh?
Practicing good oral care is a lifelong commitment. Therefore, as early as now, make sure you incorporate brushing and flossing into your lifestyle.
At Tyron Family Dentistry, we offer patient education to help you achieve optimum oral health while at home. We also encourage you to visit us regularly for an oral exam and routine teeth cleanings to keep your teeth and gums in great shape. We take pride in our personalized treatment plans tailored to your needs. Call us today for an appointment.