You hear all the time how important it is to brush and floss every day, and that you should have your teeth cleaned and examined every six months. How often do you adhere to these American Dental Association (ADA) recommendations though? Many people occasionally skip out of parts of their oral hygiene routine and do not think that anything is wrong. The common misconception is that if everything feels fine, then the mouth is healthy. While this may be the case, it is also possible to be faced with oral health issues and not even know it. The early stages of most oral health issues do not exhibit any symptoms until the issue has progressed into something more serious. At Queen Anne Family Dental, we can help you maintain a happy, healthy mouth with proper oral hygiene.
The Importance of a Healthy Mouth
Good oral hygiene is essential for maintaining a healthy mouth. Your mouth is made up of several components that have many important functions. Your teeth enable you to bite and chew food. They are also important for the health of your jaw, as well as a beautiful smile. The gums protect the roots of your teeth and aid in the appearance of your smile. Your jaw supports your teeth, aids in eating and speaking, and is important for maintaining the shape of your face. Oral hygiene is crucial for preventing the buildup of plaque and bacteria that can contribute to cavities and gum disease, both of which can lead to serious issues like infections and tooth loss.
Oral Hygiene at Home
According to the ADA, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. When you brush, you should do so for at least two minutes each time. It is recommended that you use a soft-bristled toothbrush so that you avoid irritating your gums and wearing away your enamel. Use gentle, circular motions and brush all surfaces of your teeth - the front, back, and all chewing surfaces.
Flossing can be done with traditional floss or with floss picks. Floss picks are often recommended for those who do not have the manual dexterity to manipulate traditional floss. Work the floss back and forth gently to get it between your teeth and avoid snapping it against the gum tissue. Scrape the sides of each tooth, including behind the very back teeth.
Professional Dental Care
The ADA also recommends that you have your teeth professionally cleaned and examined every six months. With cleanings, we can remove all of the buildup from all surfaces of your teeth. We are even able to eliminate tartar, calcified plaque that cannot be removed with your toothbrush at home. We can even access the areas of your mouth that you might have trouble accessing at home. Cleanings are essential for preventing oral health issues.
Exams, on the other hand, allow us to spot oral health issues that are beginning to form. We can detect the earliest warning signs of issues such as tooth decay and gum disease. By detecting these issues in the early stages, we can provide you with the care you need to restore your oral health and prevent the development of more serious issues from happening later.
Good oral hygiene practices are critical for maintaining a healthy mouth. For more information, or if you have any questions or concerns, call Queen Anne Family Dental today at (206) 424-4450.