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Posted on: July 21, 2022
Basic Dental Care in Fairfax
Your basic, at-home dental care routine will play a large part in how healthy your teeth and gums remain. Naturally, your dentist in Fairfax will play a part in your dental health by providing exams and teeth cleanings. However, it’s up to you to schedule these services. If you want to have healthy teeth and gums:
- Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
- Floss every day
- Have regular dental exams
- Have a professional teeth cleaning twice a year
Let us help you maintain a healthy mouth. Click here to schedule your exam and teeth cleaning today.
Always Brush Twice a Day
The American Dental Association recommends you brush twice a day for two minutes at a time. This keeps plaque from building up on your teeth. Plaque is the sticky film that builds up on teeth, especially when you consume foods or beverages with sugar. The bacteria in plaque can create acids that erode tooth enamel. If you don’t brush well, cleaning every tooth surface, the plaque can harden into tartar at the gumline, which will irritate your gums and may lead to gum disease.
Most people like to brush in the mornings (to remove morning breath) and before going to bed. This works well, but it would be even better if everyone would brush after every meal. Keep in mind, if have acidic foods or drinks like orange juice, don’t brush for at least 30 minutes afterward. The acids in these foods can temporarily weaken tooth enamel and brushing too soon can harm your tooth enamel.
Using the right toothbrush will make your brushing more effective. Always choose a soft brush, preferably one with bristles of varying heights. Replace your toothbrush every three or four months. Ensure your toothbrush dries fully between uses by storing it upright and uncovered between uses.
Why Should I Use Fluoride Toothpaste?
Regular toothpaste without fluoride can clean your teeth and make your breath feel fresh, but it can’t fight demineralization of your tooth enamel. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can help strengthen tooth enamel and help prevent tooth decay. Therefore, many municipalities add it to the water supply. Once you brush with a fluoride toothpaste, spit out any extra toothpaste in your mouth, but don’t rinse. The longer the fluoride stays on your teeth, the more protection it offers.
Why Should I Floss Every Day?
Less than half of all Americans floss every day. Some people believe brushing twice daily is enough, but tooth brushes cannot always reach between teeth where plaque hides. When you floss every day, you reduce your risk of cavities and gum disease. Other people don’t like to floss because it takes too long. It should take about five minutes if you use traditional string floss and take extra care to floss between your back teeth. If you’re skipping flossing because it takes too long, try a water flosser. They are just as effective. The extra time you take can save you from cavities, which take time and money to fill and can negatively impact your overall health. Invest a little time now to save time and money in the future.
What Else Can I Do at Home to Have Better Dental Health?
Your dentist may recommend a therapeutic mouthwash to help you control plaque or decay. Follow his or her recommendation to lower your risk. Mouthwash should not be considered a substitute for brushing and flossing though.
You can eat a teeth-friendly diet. This includes limiting your consumption of sweets. Instead, choose a diet consisting of healthy foods, like whole grains, vegetables, fruits and lean proteins. It is not only good for your teeth, but for your whole body.
Quit tobacco use. Tobacco dries out your mouth, limiting saliva production. This can lead to decay, as saliva helps wash away plaque. Tobacco use also increases your risk of developing oral cancer.
Tips for Better Dental Health When You Are On The Go
You can always rinse your mouth out with water after eating or drinking something while you’re on the go. One idea is to carry floss picks with you, so if you get food stuck between your teeth, you can remove it safely. Don’t use a toothpick or other sharp object, as you can hurt your gums. Sugar free gum and water also work well for cleaning teeth. Have a fresh apple for desert; it is natural teeth cleanser.
Does My Dental Health Affect My Overall Health?
Poor oral health can affect your life in many ways. If you have frequent tooth pain from untreated cavities, you may avoid healthy foods that require healthy teeth to chew. If you develop gum disease, your risk of certain conditions increases, including heart disease. Bacteria in your mouth can spread to other parts of your body, including your lungs, giving you pneumonia. Pregnant women with gum disease also may experience premature labor and low birth weights.
Ready to ensure you have healthy teeth for life? Click here to schedule your appointment.
How Can My Dentist in Fairfax Help?
Your dentist is the perfect ally in maintaining your dental health. He or she can assess your risk factors for cavities and gum disease and adjust your dental care regimens accordingly. Dentists can also spot minor issues, like a small cavity or gingivitis, and offer treatment options to nip the problem in the bud. You can also get a professional teeth cleaning with advice on how to improve your oral care routine if you’re missing any areas of your mouth.
Your dentist can also do a quick, non-invasive oral cancer screening. Every day, someone in the United States dies from oral cancer, but the cure rate is high if it’s caught early. Since about one-quarter of people who develop oral cancer have no risk factors, we screen all adults.
Click here to schedule your exam and teeth cleaning to complement your at-home dental care routine.