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A lot can happen to your mouth in eight hours, especially when you are sleeping. During this time, bacteria can gather on your teeth. But don’t let th...

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Basic Dental Care

January 6, 2014

Tending to your teeth with basic dental care will save you money overall, as well as keep your mouth happy and healthy.  You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss once a day.  You should use toothpaste that contains fluoride, which helps prevent tooth decay and cavities.  Another basic care tip is to avoid foods that contain sugar, which helps plaque grow.  Avoiding tobacco products can help reduce the chance for gum disease or oral cancer.  Another tip that is often overlooked is the practice to brush your tongue when you brush your teeth.  This is especially important for people who smoke or whose tongues are coated or deeply grooved.  Also, the most important care tip is to visit your dentist for regularly scheduled exams and cleanings.

 

Visit your Dentist

 

Visiting your dentist is very important.  They do an examination which can find issues and problems that you may not notice until it is too late.  First they will do a professional cleaning, which involves a cleaning that is more thoroughly than what you might do.  After the cleaning, you can have the option to have a fluoride was wash, which is just an application of fluoride that only takes a matter of seconds, and can protect the tooth enamel.  After the cleaning, the dentist will do the examination, he checks for the health of your teeth and gums.  If the dentist notices something like tartar buildup, X-rays may be done to get a better look at the state of your tooth beneath the gums.

 

Brush & Floss

 

Brushing and flossing are important parts of your daily routine.  You should brush your teeth at least twice a day for 2 or 3 minutes, after breakfast and before you go to bed.  It is beneficial to brush after every meal or sweetened snack you eat, although many times that is difficult.  Proper brushing will break down and remove plaque from your teeth.  Brushing not only helps prevent tooth decay, but it helps prevent gum disease.  It is recommended that you use toothpaste that contains fluoride to help cover your teeth and prevent cavities.  Always use toothbrushes with soft bristles, making sure to change it every 3 months or when the bristles start to get bent.

Flossing is just as important as brushing is.  You should floss once a day, either before or after brushing.  You should establish a regular pattern for when you floss, as not to miss any teeth.  If you have not flossed regularly, the gums may bleed slightly or be a little sore, but this will only last for a couple of days.  Your gums will stop bleeding and heal as plaque is broken up and removed.

 

Eat the right foods

 

Eating the right kind of foods can be just as important as everything else you do.  The foods you eat, as well as how often you eat will cause bacteria in the mouth as it converts the sugars from foods into acids.  It is the acid that starts to eat away at the tooth enamel and cause cavities.  Healthy food choices for you mouth would include chicken or other meats, nuts, cheeses, and milk.  These foods can protect tooth enamel by providing the calcium teeth need.  Other good choices are vegetables or firm and crunchy fruits, such as apples or pears.  These foods have a high water content that dilutes the effects of sugars they contain.  They also stimulate the flow of saliva, which washes away food particles and helps protect against decay.  Hard candies, cookies, potato chips and cakes are poor choices for you mouth’s health.  These foods contain large amounts of sugar and stick to the teeth longer, which will start producing plaque and bacteria.  Also make sure you choose the best kind of beverage you can.  Water, milk, and unsweetened tea are the best choices, as they contain little to no sugar in them.  You should limit your consumption of beverages containing sugar such as soft drinks, lemonade, or coffee or tea with added sugar.  Daylong sipping of these sugar drinks should be avoided, as they expose your teeth to sugar constantly and risk your teeth to cavities.

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