Practicing good dental hygiene is one of the most important things you can do to protect the long-term dental health of your teeth and to give your teeth the very best chance of lasting you for a lifetime. That is good news since Americans are living longer and therefore need their teeth to function properly for a longer period of time. Besides, replacing lost teeth can be expensive!
Here are the ABC’s of good dental hygiene:
A: Visit your dentist an average of twice a year (every six months) for a professional dental cleaning and dental examination. This gives a skilled dental hygienist the opportunity to remove stubborn plaque and tartar that can build up on the surface of your teeth. It also gives your dentist an opportunity to look for any signs of dental health problems including tooth decay, tooth infection, gum disease, bite problems and oral cancer.
B: Brush and floss your teeth thoroughly everyday. You should brush your teeth, at minimum, once in the morning and once before you go to bed. If you have eaten sugary or starchy foods or have had red wine or other beverages that can stain your teeth, you should brush immediately after in addition to morning and night. If you do not have the opportunity to brush your teeth after eating or drinking these foods, at least rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash.
C: Call your dentist at the first sign of dental health problems: do not ignore your symptoms as they will only get worse. When dental health problems are detected and treated early, they are typically less painful, less expensive and easier to fix. Ignoring the symptoms of dental health problems such as tooth pain or bad breath can lead to serious dental health problems including tooth loss.
For more information about how you can care for your teeth and gums to safeguard their long-term health, talk to your dentist today. Your dental hygienists may also have some important tips that he or she can share with you.
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