Tips for Healthy Teeth and Gums
Having healthy teeth and gums means that it is necessary to practice good oral hygiene. Regularly brushing and flossing at home, along with biannual visits to your dentist for a checkup, are key components to good oral hygiene. There are also other tips that you can follow to help ensure you’re your teeth and gums will remain healthy.
When you brush, make sure that you are using fluoride toothpaste. Whitening toothpastes should be avoided, as they contain abrasives that can damage the outside enamel. When you hold your brush, hold it at a forty-five degree angle to your gumline. Use gentle, circular motions to clean each surface of your teeth. That means the outer surface, inner surface, and chewing surface of each individual tooth. It should take at least two minutes on average to brush correctly. An electric toothbrush can be helpful for older patients that do not feel they have the best control over a manual brush. When you floss, make sure that you are not using harmful sawing motions on your gums. Rather, it is best to floss using up-and-downward motions.
Be aware that saliva actually plays a big role in fighting the bacteria that causes plaque. Certain medications can cause you to have a dry mouth from a lack of saliva. Decongestants, antihistamines, blood pressure medicine, and antidepressants can all have this effect. As we get older, the effects of dry mouth also increases. Try to stay hydrated with water, as well as try to regularly eat fruits and vegetables that are firm and crunchy, such as apples. Avoid eating too many citrus fruits, which are acidic and can damage enamel.
Going to the dentist twice a year for an exam and cleaning is also very important. Dentists are able to remove plaque and tartar that we may have missed while brushing and flossing, and they will also look for signs of gum disease. If it has been a while since you have last been to the dentist, contact our dental exam dentist in San Fernando Valley to schedule an appointment.
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