Practicing good oral hygiene means maintaining your smile by visiting the dentist regularly and taking care of your teeth and gums between checkups. Our practice wants to make sure that you get the most out of your office visits, and that your teeth stay healthy for life! Home care and regular checkups not only help you catch cavities before they become painful and more expensive to treat, but they also help you maintain the dental work that is already in your mouth. We'll work with you to provide complete dental care, and show you how to maintain your smile at home with the right dental products for you and your family.
Dental Cleanings and Regular Checkups
Regular dental checkups are an important part of maintaining your oral health. During your regular checkup, your hygienist or dentist will:
- Check for any problems that you may not see or feel
- Look for cavities or any other signs of tooth decay
- Inspect your teeth and gums for gingivitis and signs of periodontal disease
- Provide a thorough teeth cleaning, rinse, and polish
Visiting the dentist every six months gives you the chance to talk with your doctor and receive answers for any questions you may have about your oral health. Checkups are also a great way for you to find out about new treatments that may benefit your smile.
Choosing the Right Toothpaste and Toothbrush
From toothpaste and mouthwash to toothbrushes and dental floss, it's important to choose the right products for your smile. Your dentist and hygienist can help by recommending certain dental products for use at home.
Did you know that at birth, people already have 20 primary (baby) teeth that begin erupting after six months, and that by age 21, there are no more primary teeth, and all 32 permanent teeth have erupted?
Getting to know your teeth can be fun and educational!
Anatomy of a Tooth
Tooth Eruption Chart
Preventive dental care is important throughout your life, no matter your age. Here are a few simple ways that you can prevent the build-up of plaque and cavities:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Use fluoride or xylitol toothpaste to remove food particles and plaque from the tooth surfaces. Also be sure to brush the top surface of your tongue; this will remove any extra plaque-causing food particles, and help keep your breath fresh!
- Clean between your teeth by flossing at least once a day. You can also use a mouthwash to help kill bacteria and freshen your breath. Decay-causing bacteria can linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can't reach. Floss and mouthwash will help remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
- Eat a balanced diet, and try to avoid extra-sugary treats. Nutritious foods such as raw vegetables, plain yogurt, cheese, or fruit can help keep your smile healthy.
- Avoid sugary drinks. Besides soda pop, other drinks like chocolate milk, juice with sugar added, energy drinks, and Gatorade leave sugar behind that sits on your teeth all day causing acid to form that eventually results in decay.
- Remember to schedule regular checkups with your dentist every six months for a professional teeth cleaning.
- Ask your dentist about dental sealants, protective plastic coatings that can be applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay often starts.
- If you play sports, be sure to ask your dentist about special mouthguards designed to protect your smile.
If it's been six months since your last dental checkup, then it's time to contact our practice and schedule your next appointment!
- Brushing Instructions
Brushing: Step 1
Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gum.
Brushing: Step 2
Brush gently in a circular motion.
Brushing: Step 3
Brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of each tooth.
Brushing: Step 4
Use the tip of your brush for the inner surface of your front teeth.
- Flossing Instructions
Flossing: Step 1
Wind about 18 inches of floss around your fingers as shown. Most of it should be wrapped around one finger, and the other finger takes it up as the floss is used.
Flossing: Step 2
Use your thumbs and forefingers to guide about one inch of floss between your teeth.
Flossing: Step 3
Holding the floss tightly, gently saw it between your teeth. Then curve the floss into a C-shape against one tooth and gently slide it beneath your gums.
Flossing: Step 4
Slide the floss up and down, repeating for each tooth.