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Posted on: July 22, 2022
Basic Dental Care in Owings Mills
You may not think much about your good oral health during the day, because it’s an integral component of physical health that’s often overlooked. Research has established that good oral health directly affects your physical health. Those who maintain good oral health have a lower incidence of major illnesses such as diabetes, dementia, cardiovascular disease, and more. Regular dental appointments are vital to the success of your oral health and hygiene regimen.
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What’s Considered Good Basic Dental Care?
The American Dental Association states that the following activities are the minimum necessary to have a good basic dental care routine:
- Twice-daily brushing
- Flossing at least daily
- Using fluoridated toothpaste
- Scheduling an annual dental exam and teeth cleaning
You can do more than this, but you shouldn’t do less. According to the ADA, this is the minimum you need for good dental health.
How Often Should I Brush?
At a minimum, you should brush twice each day, and one time should be just before bedtime so that bacteria and food particles don’t remain on your teeth overnight. After you brush for the evening, don’t eat anything else.
Unless your dentist recommends otherwise, you should use a soft-bristled toothbrush that has bristles of uneven lengths. This provides the maximum surface coverage for your teeth. The longer bristles reach between the teeth while the shorter bristles clean the surface enamel. Use gentle pressure when you brush, and a circular motion with a back-and-forth stroke for a minimum of 30 seconds for each quadrant of your mouth. A quadrant for your mouth is defined as upper and lower left hand side of your jaw and upper and lower right hand side of your jaw.
It doesn’t matter the order in which you brush, as long as all four quadrants receive at least 30 seconds, so brushing your teeth should take two full minutes.
Use fluoridated toothpaste and replace your toothbrush every three months. Replace it sooner if you’ve been ill and have recuperated or if the bristles start to splay or deteriorate. Avoid using firm pressure and quick strokes because this can cause damaging striations in your tooth enamel. If you have questions about your brushing technique, your dentist can answer them or call our Owings Mills office.
Should I Use Fluoridated Toothpaste?
Most brands of toothpaste now contain fluoride because research has shown that it strengthens tooth enamel and reduces cavities. In addition, most municipalities now fluoridate their water supply, so there has been some concern about over fluoridation. However, this is seldom the case because the water is fluoridated only to the minimum required for health benefits, and over fluoridation has symptoms. If you’re concerned, though, ask your Owings Mills dentist.
How Often Should I Floss?
You should floss at least once daily, according to the ADA. Flossing more frequently is beneficial, but once daily is the minimum. If you floss only once, then do so immediately before you go to bed. That way, you won’t have food particles lodged between your teeth overnight. This can start plaque formation that will lead to gum disease, so floss before bedtime and don’t eat anything after you floss.
Whether you prefer floss picks, a water flosser, or traditional dental floss doesn’t matter; all are equally effective. However, if you have any questions, your Owings Mills dentist can provide you with recommendations.
Are There More Tips for Basic Dental Care?
Mouthwash is an excellent addition to your oral hygiene care, whether you prefer the traditional or non-alcoholic type. Both are equally effective, and either can remove bacterial residue that brushing and flossing missed. Plus, you’ll have fresher breath.
Your dietary habits can make a difference in your dental health also. Rather than snacking on high-calorie, nutritionally-empty snacks like chips and candy, consider fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Their crunchy texture will help cleanse your mouth of food particles, and their nutritional content can help your waistline. Swapping sugary sodas and high-calorie sports drinks or energy drinks for plain water can be helpful also. Your body is more than half water, so drinking more plain water may not be as exciting, but it will be healthier for your body.
What Are Good On-the-Go Tips?
If you spend the majority of your day away from home or where good dental hygiene habits aren’t an option, you might consider an on-the-go dental hygiene kit. Stock it with travel-sized versions of your favorite dental products so that you can use good oral hygiene no matter where you are.
If oral hygiene is simply not an option during the day, consider thoroughly rinsing your mouth with plain water until it’s convenient to resume your oral hygiene routine.
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What Are Good Prevention Habits?
Your Owings Mills dentist is your best dental prevention resource. Even if you have an excellent dental hygiene routine, you may have issues of which you’re unaware. Oral cancer is a good example of a disease that presents asymptomatically. By the time you’re aware of its presence, it has already spread.
Oral cancer is now the fastest-growing disease and accounts for more than three percent of all new cancer cases. We recommend that all our patients get screened for oral cancer during their annual exams and teeth cleaning. The screening is painless and non-invasive, and your dentist will perform it during your exam. If you have any questions, we’ll be happy to answer them.
We Can Help You
Our patients’ good oral health is our only goal, and we’re sure you’ll love our attention and dedication to our patients’ well-being and health. You’ll be glad you came in for a visit!
If you need an annual exam and cleaning, an oral cancer screening, or if you need any other dental procedure, click here to schedule an appointment.