When you visit your dental office near Issaquah for checkups, your dentist may ask you about your oral hygiene habits because of their role in protecting the long-term health of your teeth and gums. Read on to learn what your dentist wants you to know about good oral hygiene.
The Importance of Daily Flossing and Brushing
While you may already know that taking care of your teeth daily can help prevent cavities and stained tooth enamel, did you know that practicing good oral hygiene in this way can reduce your risk of gum disease? When allowed to progress, gum disease can be a serious condition that leads to cavities, tooth loss, and damage to the supportive tissues of your mouth. For these reasons, dentists tell their patients to floss between their teeth once per day and brush their teeth twice per day for a full 2 minutes.
What to Do When You Can’t Brush
If you are out and about and want to clean your teeth following a meal, then simply rinse your mouth thoroughly with plain water. Also, snacking on foods like nuts and apples can help clean your teeth.
The Effect That Chewing Gum Can Have on Your Teeth
Unless you have been instructed not to by your dentist or health care provider, consider chewing gum for the health of your teeth. Chewing on sugar-free gum helps produce more saliva, which plays an important role in protecting your oral health. Also, gum that is sweetened with xylitol will protect your teeth and gums from bacteria by reducing acid formation and inhibiting the bacterial growth.
What to Look for in a Toothbrush
It’s a common misconception that hard-bristled toothbrushes are better for your teeth because they offer more scrubbing power. Brushing aggressively or with a toothbrush that is too hard can severely damage your gums and tooth enamel. Because of this, dentists tell their patients to brush very softly and to use only a soft-bristled toothbrush. Finally, remember to swap out your old toothbrush for a new one every 3 months.