Are You Keeping Good Oral Hygiene Habits?
You want to avoid tooth decay, gum disease, thin enamel and of course, tooth loss. But, are you really doing all you can to preserve the health and appearance of your smile? At Ogden Dental, your Columbia dentist, Dr. G. Michael Ogden, believes that good oral hygiene habits set the stage for continued oral health. Read on, and check if your at-home routine matches with what Dr. Ogden and his team recommend for best long-term results.
Brushing is a great start
The American Dental Association (ADA) has set guidelines for how a person of any age should brush his or her teeth. They're really simple: brush for a full two minutes twice a day (set a timer on your phone if it helps). Most people select morning and bedtime to brush.
Choose an ADA-approved toothpaste with fluoride to give your teeth that extra protection against decay. Set the bristles at a 45-degree angle to your teeth, and brush gently using a back and forth motion. Gentleness avoids abrading tooth enamel and sensitive gums.
Go all the way around your mouth, top and bottom, and include the chewing surfaces of all your teeth. Pay close attention to any crowns or dental implants as plaque and tartar, the culprits behind decay and periodontal disease, tend to accumulate around these kinds of dental work.
Flossing allies with brushing
Your brush cannot reach all the sticky and rock-like deposits your meals leave behind. That's where flossing comes in to get interdental spaces and the gum line really clean. Flossing succeeds when:
- You are gentle, not snapping the floss against your teeth
- Use a quality product--waxed, flavored or plain as your prefer
- Pay close attention to areas of crowding and crookedness, dental crowns, bridgework and dental implants
- Use a clean piece every time you floss
Ask your hygienist at Ogden Dental for flossing methods best suited to your unique smile.
Watch what you consume
This applies to both food and tobacco. Regarding your diet, limit sugars and carbs. They encourage plaque and bacterial growth. Avoid acidic soda pop, and limit acidic foods such as tomato sauce. These choices soften your tooth enamel, making it prone to decay and premature wear.
Instead, choose low-fat proteins, fibrous veggies and fruits and high-calcium dairy products such as cheese, milk and yogurt. Stay well hydrated with several glasses of water daily, and regarding tobacco, stop smoking and using chewing tobacco. Both contribute to oral cancers and gum disease, says the American Academy of Periodontology.
See Dr. Ogden
At Ogden Dental in Columbia, your dentist and his team will support your good habits with exams and cleanings every six months. Together, you'll keep your smile healthy and bright for a long, long time. If you need to schedule your routine appointment, please call the office at (573) 449-7483.