By Peter Silberstein, DMD
January 03, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Many people may not be aware of the basic role teeth play in our bodies and how oral health is directly linked to overall health. The importance of your teeth makes it even more vital that you take proper preventive measures to ensure the overall health of your teeth and gums in order to prevent complications and disease. Dr. Peter Silberstein, your dentist in Boynton Beach, shares important information on how you can properly protect your teeth all year long through preventive dentistry.
Do You Brush Twice a Day?
Brushing is one of the most effective methods for removing harmful plaque from your teeth and gums. By removing the debris off your teeth and gums in a timely manner, you will be able to prevent bacteria in the food that you eat from turning into harmful, cavity causing acids. Most dentists agree that brushing two times a day is the minimum and if you use fluoride toothpaste in the morning and before bed at night time, you can get away without using toothpaste during the middle of the day.
Place your toothbrush alongside your teeth at a 45-degree angle to where your teeth come out of the gum tissues and gently brush teeth in an elliptical motion. Brush the outside of your teeth, inside the teeth, your tongue, chewing surfaces and between your teeth. Using too much force may cause the gum surface to recede, and so can expose the root surface where there is less resistance to decay. Spend enough time per area to loosen accumulated plaque. Effective brushing typically takes approximately three minutes.
Don’t Skip the Floss!
Proper flossing at least once a day helps to remove plaque and food particles in places where a toothbrush cannot reach – under the gum line and between your teeth. Because plaque buildup can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, daily flossing is highly recommended.
Starting with approximately 18 inches of floss, wind most of it around each middle finger, leaving an inch or two of floss to work with. Next, holding the floss tightly between your thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently up-and-down between your teeth. Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure you go beneath the gum line. Never snap or force the floss, as this may cut or bruise delicate gum tissue. Use clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth.
The Consequences of Poor Oral Hygiene
Poor oral hygiene invites plaque – a bacteria-laden film that will cause tooth decay and gum disease – to accumulate around the base of your teeth and under the gum line, on the tooth’s root surface, causing your gums to become red and inflamed. If you neglect the care of your teeth at home and fail to go to the dentist regularly, accumulated plaque which has hardened into a material that can only be removed through professional intervention, could potentially lead to infection, destruction of supporting bone, and thus subsequent tooth loss.
The good news is that being diligent about your dental health care and getting regular dental checkups can prevent plaque from hardening and even reverse early gum disease with early intervention. A plaque-free mouth is a healthy mouth. Proper brushing and flossing is the only effective way to prevent daily plaque buildup, coupled with regular dental cleanings.
Make an appointment with Dr. Peter Silberstein, your Boynton Beach dentist, to have him help you with a customized approach to your needs for proper care, in addition to daily brushing and flossing. As a dentist in Boynton Beach offering comprehensive care services, Dr. Silberstein will be able to put together an appropriate dental hygiene plan to help keep you smiling longer.