Many common dental problems such as tooth decay or dental diseases are preventable simply by being diligent and adhering to healthy oral care habits.
– The most basic dental care habit to keep is brushing and flossing. It’s recommended that you brush twice a day (or after every meal) and floss daily. Doing so cleans away plaque that can otherwise build up on the teeth to form tartar, a hardened, sticky substance with bacteria that can cause tooth decay and lead to gum disease.
– A balanced diet is important not only for building strong teeth but to protect them from harmful substances. Calcium-rich foods are good for the prevention of periodontal disease and jaw deterioration while foods high in sugars and carbohydrates should be consumed sparingly, as they feed the bacteria that produce dental plaque.
– The American Dental Association recommends a minimum of two dental checkups each year. These visits provide a regular cleaning of the teeth as well as management of any developing conditions, which are easier to treat if caught early.
Professional cleanings at your dentist office usually start with a physical exam of your entire mouth. Mostly done by dental hygienists, your teeth and gums are checked for signs of gingivitis (inflamed gums) or other potential problems. The dentist will be referred to if needed, but in most cases, the visit will proceed to the actual cleaning. Even if you brush and floss diligently, there are still areas of dental plaque and stains that you can’t get to yourself. This is where the tools at the dentist office come in, scraping away plaque and tartar, patient also get a good flossing to remove any remaining debris.