September 12, 2016
Toothbrushing and flossing are simple oral hygiene practices, but so important. They protect mouths from decay and gum disease, the major reasons behind tooth loss in the United States. Your Richardson dentists, Dr. Tom McDougal and Dr. Chris Richards, possess impressive curriculum vitae, but tell patients at-home hygiene and lifestyle greatly contribute to the skill and artistry the doctors apply to their patients.
Brush Twice a Day
Brushing your teeth takes practice and discipline. The American Dental Association (ADA) says children through senior adults should brush for at least 2 minutes twice daily. Mom or dad must supervise young kids when they brush. Most kids can solo on toothbrushing by age seven or eight.
Pick Quality Tools
Use a soft toothbrush. These bristles don’t wear down enamel or abrade gum tissue. Some people like an electric toothbrush which really does most of the work for you.
Also, select a quality fluoride toothpaste you like. Topical fluoride prevents tooth decay. Apply a pea-sized amount of paste for kids under three, and older kids, teens and adults use a ¾-inch ribbon of paste.
How to Do It
Place toothbrush bristles at a 45-degree angle to teeth and gums. Using short, back and forth strokes, brush the teeth slowly, starting with the front and moving around the mouth. Brush the chewing surfaces, and pay attention to hard to reach back molars. For the back sides, orient the brush vertically, and use up and down strokes.
Care for Your Brush
Rinse your toothbrush with water after each use, and dry it well. Store it in a clean, dry place away from others’ toothbrushes.
Get a new brush every 2 to 3 months or when it looks worn. Some toothbrushes have wear indicators, small bands of color on the bristles which gradually disappear as the brush is used. Get a new one after recovering from the flu or a cold, too.
Follow-up with Flossing
Flossing removes bacteria-filled plaque that your toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing adds time to your oral hygiene routine but pays big benefits in preventing decay and gum disease.
Healthy Diet and No Tobacco
A tooth- and gum-friendly diet consists of fibrous fruits and vegetables, calcium-rich dairy and very limited amounts of starches and sugars. Also, the family dentists in Richardson recommend drinking at least eight full glasses of water daily to keep teeth and gums clean and hydrated. Water stimulates saliva–so beneficial because of its antibacterial properties. To keep enamel bright, limit darkly pigmented dietary choices such as coffee, blueberries and red wine.
For people who smoke, please consider quitting. Tobacco smoke has toxins which degrade enamel and infect gum tissue. Plus, it makes your teeth yellow and your breath unpleasant. Consult your primary care physician for a smoking cessation program.
Contact Your Richardson Dentist
Contact McDougal and Richardson Dentistry to get your appointment for a semi-annual exam and hygienic cleaning. While you’re there, ask the dentist or hygienist about the best way to brush, floss and keep your mouth healthy between visits.
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