Keeping your smile healthy doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, you can reduce your risk of gum disease and tooth decay simply by practicing good oral hygiene. Brighton, MI, dentists Dr. Brian Petersburg, Dr. Brian Giammalva, and Dr. Wendy Jativa provide dental cleanings, checkups, and other dental services that keep your smile healthy.
Brushing and flossing: the foundation of good oral hygiene
Have you ever run your tongue over your teeth and noticed that they felt rough? That rough feeling is caused by plaque, a bacteria-laden biofilm that can cause cavities. Brushing gets rid of plaque, as long as you brush thoroughly. Unfortunately, it's easy to miss a few spots when you're in hurry to get to work or school, or you're exhausted at the end of the day.
Leaving plaque behind increases your cavity risk, but that's not the only problem. If you don't brush thoroughly, plaque turns into tartar, a hard deposit that you can't remove at home. Tartar often forms at the base of teeth and looks brown or gray. The longer tartar removes on your teeth, the higher your risk of gum disease.
Luckily, you can avoid tooth decay and gum disease by following these suggestions:
- Brush thoroughly: Divide your mouth into quarters when you brush, and focus on brushing each tooth in the quarter, front and back, before moving on to the next section.
- Brush for two minutes: Most people must spend at least two minutes to completely remove plaque. Adding a few seconds to your oral hygiene regimen just may help you avoid cavities.
- Take advantage of the unique properties of fluoride: Fluoride, a natural mineral, remineralizes weak area of tooth enamel, making your teeth less susceptible to acids that can damage the enamel and cause cavities. Many mouthwashes and all toothpastes that feature the American Dental Association (ADA) seal contain fluoride.
- Floss daily: Americans aren't great flossers. In fact, only 16 percent floss every day, according to a Waterpik survey conducted in consultation with the ADA. Failing to floss regularly increases the chance that you'll develop a cavity between your teeth and also raises your gum disease risk.
- See the dentist every six months: During regular visits to your Brighton dentist, you'll receive an exam and a dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar before they can damage your smile.
Protect your oral health with regular checkups. Call Brighton, MI, dentists Dr. Petersburg, Dr. Giammalva, and Dr. Jativa at (810) 227-4224 to schedule your next appointment.