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Dental Care and Oral Hygiene

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Your teeth aren’t only functional, but they’re also a significant part of your appearance. Although the basic function of your teeth and gums is to properly digest food, we all know that having clean teeth and fresh breath helps you make a good impression.

Not taking care of your teeth can also lead to serious health problems. To prevent costly and unnecessary dental bills, it’s very important to practice good oral hygiene every day.

What Is Plaque?

Plaque is a sticky layer of material containing bacteria that accumulates on teeth. This produces substances that irritate the gums, making them sensitive and susceptible to bleeding. Plaque often leads to gum disease wherein gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets that quickly fill with bacteria and pus. If the gums are left untreated, the bone around the teeth gets destroyed. This causes teeth to become loose, fall out, or have to be removed by a dentist.

Taking Care of Your Teeth

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled multi-tufted toothbrush. Choose a toothbrush with a head that’s small enough to get around your mouth, and a handle that’s easy to grip. Make sure to brush your teeth for at least two minutes and scrub each tooth thoroughly. Also, don’t forget to replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months or sooner if the bristles start to fray.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is not only effective at preventing cavities, but it can also repair tooth enamel.
  • Use a flossing product of your choice and floss at least once a day. Flossing is the best way to remove plaque from forming in the hard-to-reach places between your teeth.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Eating vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals can help prevent gum disease.
  • Avoid sweets and sweetened drinks. Exposing teeth to sugar for extended periods of time increases the risk of tooth decay. If you do eat or drink sweets, make sure to brush your teeth soon after.
  • Do not smoke. Smoking is a major risk factor for developing gum disease.
  • Keep dentures, retainers, and other appliances clean. Make sure to brush them regularly and place them in a soaking solution overnight.

How Often Should You See the Dentist?

Everyone should see a dentist at least once a year. It’s important to visit a dental professional regularly because we may not be able to detect signs of early tooth disease and gum decay on our own. People who suffer from medical conditions that increase their risk of dental problems should visit their dentist every six months or as often as advised by their dentist.

Other Reasons to See the Dentist

Although we recommend seeing a dentist at least once a year, don’t hesitate to visit your dentist sooner if you notice anything unusual such as:

  • Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
  • Bleeding gums every time you brush or floss
  • Loose permanent teeth
  • Changes in the alignment of your teeth
  • Increased sensitivity to hot and cold food
  • Persistent bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • Badly fitting denture or partial denture
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Mouth ulcers or sores that won’t heal
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