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    Dental Care Basics


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    Dental health care focuses on proper oral hygiene that entails brushing, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist. However, oral care basics extend past the teeth to encompass the gums, jawbone, and tongue. Good oral health helps promote overall well-being. Brushing and flossing are preventative measures. At the same time, regular dental visits ensure early screening for various oral conditions and treatment before the issues advance and become irreversible. Below is the importance of proper oral hygiene and basic dental care practices to help you maintain good oral hygiene.

    Proper Oral Hygiene Benefits

    The tooth’s root connects the jawbone to the teeth. The roots sit deep in the bone to give your mouth the structure and strength to function normally when speaking, biting, and chewing. Without proper oral hygiene practices, your teeth and gums risk plaque and calculus accumulation, changing the color of your teeth.

    When you fail to observe proper oral hygiene habits, the plaque will turn your teeth and gum line yellowish, adversely impacting the appearance of your smile. The bacteria in the plaque can also spread to the gums. The germs irritate the gums, causing inflammation that makes them pull away from the tooth, creating dental pockets. When your gums begin to recede, the tooth root becomes exposed, increasing the risk of tooth loss. Also, gum disease or infections can enter the bloodstream, increasing the risk of heart disease and other health complications.

    So, starting a proper dental hygiene habit early is critical to preventing plaque and calculus buildup and keeping teeth, gums, and the overall body healthy.

    Introducing Proper Dental Hygiene to Your Family

    Dental health affects the entire body. Therefore, it is crucial to introduce your children and other family members to proper dental hygiene habits. First, you should explain the importance of observing proper oral care. You can take the family to the dentist to learn about the best oral hygiene practices. An experienced dentist will explain to the family the best oral hygiene practices and the actions they should take to keep the entire mouth clean and healthy.

    Your oral health and that of your children are equally important. Therefore, children should adopt oral hygiene practices similar to adults, even though they will lose their baby teeth. Many parents do not see the need to emphasize proper oral care for their children because they believe they will lose their baby teeth and develop permanent ones; therefore, they put less emphasis on proper dental care.

    However, what these parents fail to understand is that the baby’s teeth can affect the jawbone and weaken it. Therefore, even when the permanent teeth grow, they will not be adequately anchored on the bone, increasing the risk of oral complications in your children’s adult lives. For this reason, dentists encourage parents to begin dental care immediately after the first tooth pops.

    Regardless of age, every individual should pay attention to dental health and practice good oral hygiene habits to promote overall wellness.

    Dental Care Practices You Can Adopt to Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene

    The oral care basics that you must understand to maintain good dental hygiene are:

    Daily Brushing

    Dentists recommend routine brushing twice daily to maintain healthy teeth and gums. When brushing, ensure that you use the appropriate brush and toothpaste. An appropriate toothbrush is one with soft bristles to avoid damaging the gum tissue and tooth surface. You are discouraged from aggressively brushing your teeth, especially when using a brush with stiff bristles, as this causes irreversible damage, sensitivity, or gum tissue erosion.

    During brushing, use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste and move the brush in small circular motions against the teeth. Doing so removes the food debris trapped beneath the gum line. You should move the brush at a 45-degree angle against the gumline and brush gently to extract all trapped particles. Ensure that teeth’ inner, outer, and front surfaces are clean. Again, do not swivel the toothbrush back and forth.

    You should brush for two or three minutes and clean the teeth on the upper and lower jaws.

    Most importantly, do not forget to brush the tongue because it accumulates bacteria like a sponge and could spread to the teeth and gum tissue, causing various oral complications like gum disease. Bacteria build up on your tongue every time you eat and drink. When you fail to eradicate the bacteria, it builds up in the taste receptors and tongue tissue. The problem with bacteria accumulation in the tongue is that even flossing does not help—also, the bacteria’s accumulation results in decay and bad breath.  Therefore, you should not overlook the tongue when brushing because it is a crucial component of your oral hygiene. When cleaning the tongue, always use a brush with soft bristles.

    Failure to clean the tongue causes bacteria to spread to the gum tissue, leading to gum disease. Therefore, brushing your tongue prevents gum disease, and your taste receptors function optimally, making your food and beverages taste better. Cleaning the tongue also reduces the risk of oral thrush, an infection associated with yeast overgrowth in the mouth.

    Ask the dentist for directions if you do not know how to brush your tongue. Brush at least two times a day to prevent plaque accumulation. Cleaning the tongue should be part of your dental care routine.

    Besides, you should replace your toothbrush if the bristles begin to wear off or after every three months. Again, avoid swallowing toothpaste while brushing. Lastly, do not forget to rinse your mouth after brushing.

    Dental Flossing

    Usually, brushing only removes debris on the tooth surfaces and barely cleans spaces between the teeth. Many people overlook the importance of flossing because they believe brushing is sufficient to remove all food particles and plaque. However, flossing is vital because it eradicates sticky substances between the teeth, which, when left to accumulate for a long time, allow bacteria to breed, resulting in cavities and periodontal disease.

    When left for an extended period, plaque mixes with starches or sugars from food debris, producing hazardous acids that eat away at the enamel. Therefore, dental flossing once a day is encouraged to extract plaque between tooth spaces. When you fail to remove the plaque, it can irritate the gums, causing inflammation that results in gum recession.

    Regarding floss choices, you can go for nylon thread or polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE) floss. The nylon thread floss comes in different flavors and allows you to choose between waxed and unwaxed options. However, it can easily tear or shred because it is composed of multiple nylon strands.

    PTFE floss costs more than nylon thread, but it easily slips between the teeth, even with tight contact points. Again, it is highly resistant to shredding. Therefore, you can use any floss type to eliminate particles and debris in the mouth after brushing. 

    Dental Rinsing

    Once you floss your teeth, you should rinse them with a mouthwash recommended by your dentist. A mouthwash containing fluoride helps protect your teeth before your next dental appointment. Mouthwash also prevents foul mouth odor, dry mouth, and periodontal disease. Ensure you follow the instructions on the product bottle when rinsing to obtain maximum benefits from the mouthwash.

    Maintain a Healthy Diet

    Your dental care routine should include maintaining a balanced and healthy diet. The time and manner in which you eat particular beverages impact the health of your gum tissue and teeth. For instance, sugary substances allow bacteria to thrive, increasing the risk of decay and periodontal disease. cakes,

    When you do not observe proper dental hygiene by brushing and flossing, the germs in the plaque thrive in the sugary substances in the mouth, wearing off your enamel. Therefore, when you eat sugary foods like bread, cakes, or fruits, ensure that you brush your teeth because it is difficult to avoid these foods entirely.

    Dentists encourage you to eat crunchy foods like vegetables because they promote the health of your teeth and overall body by removing germs and plaque. Besides, crunchy vegetables remove the food debris trapped in the crevices and gums, reducing the risk of gum disease. If your body is healthy, you will have a solid immune system and be less susceptible to the risks of developing gum disease and other dental problems. To maintain a healthy body and mouth, stick to a balanced diet and avoid high-level acid fruits because they could damage your enamel.

    Foods high in fiber stimulate the salivary glands, increasing saliva production. When more saliva is in the mouth, there will be fewer food particles, reducing the risk of bacterial growth and related oral conditions. Also, saliva improves digestion. Strawberries are made up of malic acid, which naturally whitens your teeth, giving them a sparkly white appearance.

    Quit Smoking or Ingesting Tobacco Products

    Tobacco use is linked with several health complications and elevates the risk of dental illnesses like periodontal disease. The primary components of tobacco are tar and nicotine. When you smoke or chew the product, the primary elements leave stains on tooth enamel, causing them to turn yellow or brown. When the smoking continues for a long time, these stains become more visible through the mouth, adversely affecting the quality of your smile.

    Besides, tobacco contains toxins that have an irritating effect on the teeth and soft tissue, which leads to inflammation. With low oxygen levels in the bloodstream because of smoking, it takes longer for the gingiva tissue to heal. Tobacco smokers are also at a heightened risk of developing oral cancer. Therefore, one of the ways you can care for your teeth and avoid oral complications is by quitting smoking or ingesting tobacco products.

    Switch From a Manual Toothbrush to an Electric One

    Not many people use a manual brush to brush their teeth properly. If you belong to this category and want to improve your oral hygiene, consider switching to an electric toothbrush. Its revolving head simplifies brushing, making it easier to eradicate plaque and bacteria buildup in the teeth and gums.

    Electric toothbrushes effectively remove plaque and stains, helping users maintain pearly white, healthy, and functional teeth. These brushes can be adjusted to your preferences, meaning you can tailor the brush to meet your oral hygiene needs.

    Brushing with a manual toothbrush is challenging, especially with dental braces, because the brush cannot reach the crevices to remove bacteria and debris. However, an electric toothbrush reaches the crevices, making it highly effective for maintaining proper oral hygiene when wearing braces. Also, they are fitted with a timer, which enables you to set the maximum time required for brushing, and once the time is up, the timer notifies you.

    Drink Plenty of Water

    Your dental care should include drinking a lot of water to keep your mouth hydrated. Dentists recommend drinking at least eight ounces of water daily. If you cannot brush after meals, drink a lot of water as it washes away the food debris and bacteria, leaving your mouth clean.

    Another reason you are encouraged to drink a lot of water is because food debris and bacteria contain toxic acids that increase the risk of cavities and wear off the enamel. However, when you drink a lot of water, the acids are diluted, minimizing their harm to your oral health.

    Visit Your Dentist Regularly

    Your dentist will advise that you make at least two visits annually to their dental office for examinations. During the visits, the dentist evaluates your teeth for any oral issues, performs a professional cleaning to eradicate calculus that cannot be removed through regular brushing, and recommends dental treatment when they identify signs of an oral concern.

    Children and teens are also encouraged to make these appointments to help fight dental cavities, which are prevalent at this age. Besides, you and your children should visit the dentist whenever you notice signs of an oral cavity, like increased tooth sensitivity.

    Find a Competent Dentist Near Me

    Understanding dental care basics promotes good oral hygiene and overall oral health and saves you money that could have been used to seek treatment for various dental concerns. However, even with proper dental hygiene, regular visits to a dentist are encouraged. At The Lakewood Dentist, we will help you maintain good dental hygiene to prevent oral issues. Call us at 562-423-1441 for guidance or a no-obligation consultation.

    Get Your Confidence Back and Smile. Don’t Wait!



    Find a Dentists Near Me

    Your smile is one of your defining features, and you should trust your oral and general health to an upstanding dental practice. The experienced team at The Lakewood Dentist is happy to be your family’s primary resource for practical and gentle dental services. With the proper care, you can enjoy a healthy, beautiful, and lasting smile, and we are excited to assist you in reaching your goals! Whether your smile needs restorative care to repair damaged teeth, cosmetic care to enhance your smile’s appearance, or you are looking for a new dentist to care for your family, we have your ultimate solution.

    Our friendly dentists welcome patients throughout Lakewood to discover why many choose us to meet their oral health needs. Whether you want to establish ongoing care, are new to the area, or want to discover how state-of-the-art technology can assist you feel and look your best, our practice has the technology, personalized approach, and skills you deserve. We will ensure you are comfortable during your visit.

    Contact our friendly team today at 562-423-1441 to learn more about our broad range of services and to get started!