Have you ever wondered why your dentists always recommend you come back every six months? It’s because regular dental visits are essential for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums. And in between those examinations, it’s important that you work to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. If you need additional help, your dentist may even suggest more frequent visits.
Dental Checkup: Your dental professional will check for cavities and to see if there is plaque or tartar on your teeth. Plaque is a clear, sticky layer of bacteria. If it is not removed, it can harden and become tartar. You cannot remove tartar with brushing and flossing. If plaque and tartar build up on your teeth, they can cause oral diseases.
Dental Cleaning: Clean between your teeth after brushing once a day, but ideally twice a day. This is to remove plaque from between teeth. Dental floss is commonly used to do this. However, some studies suggest that small interdental brushes may do a better job than floss. The aim is to clean the sides of the teeth where a toothbrush cannot reach and to clear the spaces between teeth (the interdental spaces) of debris.
Some people who have not cleaned between their teeth before are surprised as to how much extra debris and food particles can be removed by doing this in addition to brushing.
Some Do’s and Don’ts:
• Brush and floss your teeth twice a day, especially before going to bed!
• Buy a new toothbrush every three months.
• Use a gentle toothpaste. Some abrasive toothpastes can remove your tooth enamel.
• Massage your gums once a day with your finger to increase blood flow and protect your gums against infections.
• Go for a dental check-up every six months.
• Brush your teeth too aggressively. Gentle brushing at a 45-degree angle will do the trick.
• Suck on lemons. The acid from a lemon can eat through your tooth enamel.
• Use your teeth to open a bottle or wrapper.
• Use somebody else’s toothbrush – toothbrushes are full of bacteria, so you’re opening yourself up to the possibility of gum disease.
• Chew on ice cubes. Chewing on ice can cause teeth to crack.