Scheduling preventative dental care ranks only behind daily brushing and flossing as the most important action patients need to take to ensure quality oral health. Harmful bacteria that thrives in the mouth use the food and drinks we consume to produce substances that slowly erode away at the health of our teeth. To enjoy a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums, patients need to practice quality at-home oral care that includes:
- Brushing at least twice a day. The American Dental Association recommends brushing for at least two minutes twice a day – once after waking in the morning and again right before bed. While it’s great if you have the opportunity to brush after every meal, your need to at least brush thoroughly twice a day to protect your long-term oral health.
- Floss daily. Many dentists believe that flossing actually plays a more important role in protecting the health of your teeth and gums than brushing. Despite the important role flossing plays, studies have found that only 40 percent of Americans floss daily, and that 10 percent don’t floss at all. Flossing helps remove food particles and bacteria from the hard to reach areas of your mouth, and ranks as a vital part of any oral hygiene routine.
- Rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash. Your mouth features a lot of cracks and crevices were bacteria can hide. Many of these hard to clean areas of the mouth remain untouched after brushing, which allows bacteria to accumulate and pose a threat to your oral health. To help eliminate harmful oral bacteria were ever it may hide, your Portland dentist recommends rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash after brushing to help remove any remaining bacteria from your mouth.
- While brushing and flossing help to remove this bacteria from the surface of our teeth on a daily basis, plaque – a sticky combination of bacteria – can build up on the surface of your teeth. Over time, plaque hardens into tartar – a yellowish collection of bacteria that accumulate on the surface of your teeth and along the gum line. If allowed to remain, tartar increases your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
- Patients who schedule dental cleanings and checkups provide your dentist in downtown Wailuku, Dr Chris McNeil, and his professional and friendly staff of gentle dental hygienists, the opportunity to remove tartar from hard to reach areas such as between teeth and below the gum line before it has time to cause any lasting damage.