Your part in the oral hygiene equation has always been to brush and floss daily and schedule regular checkups, but is that everything you should be doing between cleanings? Dr. Matthew Gemp, doctor of medical dentistry in Houston, understands that attention to detail may get lost as your daily routine slowly alters your habits. Here’s a review to get you up to date on contemporary oral care. Don’t forget to schedule your next cleaning and checkup to keep your smile looking its best.
Yes. Brushing and flossing twice a day is probably the most crucial aspect of hygiene, but you can take other steps to keep your teeth and gums in top shape between visits to Dr. Gemp.
Brushing and flossing control the amounts of plaque on the surfaces of your teeth. This biofilm creates a host environment in which bacteria thrive. The bacteria, in turn, converts food sugars into acids that can weaken tooth enamel, leaving it vulnerable to decay. Bacteria can also contribute to gingivitis or other diseases of the gums.
There are, however, other things you can do to maintain the fresh-from-the-dentist clean feeling as well as your overall oral health. Some are easy to incorporate into your daily routine, while others may take discipline and effort.
Using a therapeutic mouthwash greatly improves the plaque removal process when combined with brushing and flossing. A therapeutic mouthwash contains antibacterial and cavity-preventing properties, important for both reduced plaque, healthy teeth, and fresh breath.
Include a quick mouth exam as part of your brushing routine. Regular inspection can reveal problems such as minor chipping, swelling or redness in the gums, or other changes in your mouth in the early stages when it’s typically easier to address the problems.
It takes more effort to change eating habits, but limiting snacks between meals can significantly lower the acids created by bacteria in plaque. Keep the sweets clustered around meals and you’ll fight decay.
Tobacco use greatly increases the risk of mouth cancer, tooth decay, and gum disease. These are no longer startling revelations, but many people don’t know that dentists are often active partners when you decide to quit smoking.
Yes. Fluoride represents the most cost-effective way to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities. Fluoride is a natural mineral that exists in nearly all water supplies, though typically at levels below those that strengthen teeth. Fluoridated water is safe for people of all ages, and fluoride toothpaste will add to your protection.