Why Is Oral Hygiene So Important?
Adults over 35 lose more teeth due to periodontal (gum) disease than cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque, a colorless film that sticks to your teeth at the gum line. Thoroughly brushing and flossing daily removes these germs and helps prevent periodontal disease.
How to Brush and Floss
Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle and gently move it against the outside of your teeth in a circular motion using small, gentle strokes. Don’t forget to gently brush the surrounding gum tissue. Hold the brush vertically for the inside of the teeth and use the same motion. Brush for two minutes, twice each day.
Periodontal disease flourishes between the teeth where it’s hard to reach with your brush. To floss these areas, gently insert the floss between the teeth. Curve it into a C-shape against one tooth and move it up and down. Remember, there are two surfaces to be cleaned in each space. Clean both sides of each space. When you’re done, rinse vigorously with water to remove plaque and food particles.
Daily brushing and flossing will keep dental calculus (tartar) to a minimum, but a professional cleaning will remove calculus in the places that are more difficult to access. Your visit to our dental office is an important part of your program to prevent periodontal disease. To keep your teeth for your lifetime, get a professional cleaning at least twice each year!
We now know that good nutrition can make you less vulnerable to oral disease. Bacteria in your mouth feed on starchy food, such as crackers, breads, cookies, and candy, which produce acids that can attack your teeth for up to 20 minutes after eating. Foods that stick to your teeth and are slow to dissolve also destroy tooth enamel. On the other hand, foods such as nuts, cheeses, onions, and some teas have been shown to slow growth of decay-causing bacteria.