Dental Hygiene

Good health starts with good hygiene

dental-hygiene-larson-roland-reginaGood dental hygiene is  a key component of your overall health. Clean, white teeth and fresh breath, are the obvious benefits of a good oral hygiene regime, but, what’s not always evident, is the progression from bacteria build-up to gum disease and tooth loss that can be the result of poor oral health care.

Here’s how bacteria, inflammation and gum disease can put your teeth at risk:

  • Without a good brushing and flossing routine, bacteria builds up
  • This bacteria produces a sticky film called biofilm, which, over time, hardens into plaque
  • Built up bacteria and plaque begin to erode your tooth’s enamel causing cavities to form
  • As plaque hardens, it becomes tartar. Tartar is another cavity creator, and it can also contribute to gum disease
  • When gum disease sets in, the results can range from tooth sensitivity, to bad breath, gum recession, loose or shifting teeth, and, in severe cases, tooth loss
  • If left untreated, recent studies suggest the inflammation and bacteria caused by gum disease can enter your body creating or contributing to medical health problems

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Three simple steps to safeguard your oral health

Tooth brushing is your first line of defense.  Brush your teeth gently twice daily using using a soft toothbrush with a small head and well-designed bristles. This will help remove much of the harmful bacteria that can cause plaque and tartar build up. Don’t forget to include your tongue as bacteria can build up here as well.

Flossing your teeth is as important as brushing them. Flossing removes plaque from the spaces in between your teeth that your toothbrush can’t get to. Want to do it fast and effectively? Here’s the technique:

  1. Start by washing your hands so you don’t spread any germs into your mouth
  2. Pull out enough floss to wrap around each index finger a few times
  3. Zigzag the floss down between your teeth to the gumline
  4. Pull the floss into a “c” shape around the bottom of each tooth and slide it up gently. Don’t forget to tackle both sides of the tooth

Brushing and flossing are great ways to keep your mouth clean and healthy, but without this third step, you could be missing out on your best oral health. Why?

  1. Regardless of how diligently you brush and floss, it’s practically impossible to get into every nook and cranny and, over time, plaque can build up. Your dental hygienist has the tools and tricks to super-clean, polish and protect your teeth
  2. Your dentist has a keen trained eye to spot dental issues while they are still small. Decay, cracked or broken fillings, and gum problems are more easily treated in these early stages.

You, your dentist and your hygienist are a team

A dental hygiene program that includes regular brushing and flossing along with twice yearly cleanings and dental exams is the best way to keep your teeth and gums healthy. With proactive oral health care, you’ll have a better chance of catching and treating dental problems early and avoiding costly problems down the road.

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