Maintaining good oral health habits can keep your mouth clean for a lifetime. Following these Dos and Don’ts you can keep your teeth free of tooth decay:
- Brush 2 or 3 times a day for at least 2 minutes, making sure you brush all sections of your mouth. Keeping your toothbrush in good shape can reduce the amount of germs that can accumulate on it, and changing it every 3 months is recommended.
- Floss. Flossing is very important! Proper flossing can reduce the buildup of plaque in areas that brushing can’t reach. If you floss twice a day before you brush your teeth you can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
- Invest in a tongue brush. Tongue brushing is great at removing the bacteria responsible for causing bad breath. You can use a tongue scraper, a tongue brush, or a regular toothbrush to clean your tongue before or after brushing. Just be gentle because tongues can be quite sensitive!
- Use a mouthwash after flossing and brushing. It is effective in further preventing tooth decay, gum disease, plaque buildup, and removing any debris from brushing your tongue and teeth.
- Keep a toothbrush for any longer than 3 months. Toothbrushes aren’t as effective at removing plaque and bacteria when they begin to wear down. Plus a toothbrush can become a breeding ground for all kinds of germs and fungus. Replacing them is essential!
- Bunch toothbrushes together! If you live with your family it is good to keep your toothbrush separated from others using a toothbrush holder to prevent you and your loved ones from sharing germs.
- Bite your nails or put your fingers in your mouth. Hands are very useful in helping us accomplish tasks in our everyday lives but they are also great at transmitting diseases!
- Overdo it. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Over-brushing teeth can lead to receding gum tissue which may expose the root area, promote periodontal disease and cavities (and may lead to a root canal, filling or extraction!) Over-flossing can cause issues as well. When you floss too hard you can make your gums bleed, expose more of the tooth root, and possibly wear through enamel increasing causes of decay and cavities.
In addition make sure you visit us at Smiles Unlimited Dentistry, P.C. for regular exams and cleanings. We can check for tooth decay and remove any plaque or tartar that can’t be taken care of at home!