Proper care of your teeth and gums reduces your risk of tooth decay and gum disease for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. Caring for your teeth and gums is simple. The four basic steps are:
- A nutritious diet
- Regular dental visits
Brush your teeth at least twice a day, with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a non-abrasive, fluoride toothpaste. Avoid all "whitening"toothpastes, as they contain abrasive ingredients. You may have to hunt through many "whitening"toothpastes to find one with no whitening ingredients.
Brushing is essential to healthy teeth and gums because it removes plaque, a sticky and acidic mix of bacteria and their excretions. It causes cavities. The toothbrush should be placed against the teeth at a 45-degree angle to the gum line.
- Brush in a continuous, circular motion
- Be sure to brush all parts of each tooth
- You do not have to brush hard to remove plaque from your teeth
- Don’t forget to gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath
- Brush for two to three minutes, then rinse with water
- Replace your toothbrush approximately every four months
Floss at least once a day, preferably before bedtime. Flossing removes food particles and plaque from between the teeth, where decay frequently begins. Move the floss up and down, curving it towards the side surface of the tooth on one side of it, then towards the side surface of the other. To avoid injuring your gums, floss gently against the gum line. Use about 18 inches of floss each time, and use a fresh part of it for each between-teeth area.
Eating a diet high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains and low in sugar and starches is good for every part of you. Sugars and starches produce acids that remain in the mouth longer and will dissolve tooth enamel. So it is especially important to eat less sugar and starch to keep your teeth and gums looking and feeling great. This includes foods such as raisins, candy, cookies, cake, gum, chips and crackers.
Regular Dental Checkups
Visit Exceptional Dentistry about every six months for a thorough dental checkup and cleaning. This will keep your teeth and gums strong and healthy. If you experience anything unusual, such as bleeding or swollen gums or pain, call us immediately. This may indicate periodontal disease.
A healthy, attractive smile that lasts a lifetime begins with prevention. At Exceptional Dentistry, our hygienists regularly educate parents and children about proper daily oral hygiene. When you speak with one of our hygienists, you will learn more about what good hygiene is, why regular cleanings are necessary, and what will take place during a checkup.
Please email our friendly family dental office or call 563-556-2711 to schedule a dental checkup at Exceptional Dentistry, serving Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, and Davenport, Iowa.