Oral hygiene tips and healthy dental habits shared by a dentist in Alpharetta
A beautiful, healthy smile is the goal in oral health. A healthy smile impacts your physical appearance and your overall wellness. Maintaining this smile takes work, good hygiene, and regular dental visits. For healthy dental habits shared by a dentist, contact Dr. Bradley Hepler in Alpharetta. The team at the Atlanta Center for Dental Health offers tips for good oral hygiene to help you keep your winning smile.
Oral hygiene tips
Keeping your mouth healthy requires a group effort. By visiting your dental team regularly, your dentist and hygienist strive to protect the health and integrity of your teeth and gums. As the patient, you are responsible for following healthy dental habits at home. Good oral hygiene tips include the following habits and routines:
- At a minimum, brush twice daily. Although it may be ideal to brush each time you have a snack or meal, that is not feasible for most people. Brush in the morning and before bed to remove food particles, plaque, and bacteria. Use a soft-bristled brush that comfortably fits all corners of your mouth and brush for two minutes per session.
- Floss once daily. Sometimes brushing does not remove everything. Flossing your teeth removes food particles that are stuck between the teeth.
- Rinse your teeth. Brushing and flossing regularly cannot effectively clean the hard-to-reach areas. Use an oral irrigator and/or mouthwash to remove bacteria from these areas.
- Clean the tongue. Often forgotten, the tongue can harbor unwanted bacteria. Cleaning your tongue daily removes bacteria and keeps the breath fresh. Use a tongue scraper or use the scraper on the back of your toothbrush.
- Avoid midnight snacks and drinks. Eating and drinking late at night after you have already cleansed your mouth defeats the purpose of brushing. Either avoid late snacks or brush again before returning to bed. This keeps bacteria from sitting on your teeth overnight.
- Avoid sugary drinks and snacks. Sugary meals cause the bacteria in your mouth to release acids that attack your tooth enamel. When the enamel breaks down, cavities develop. Keep your teeth strong and healthy by minimizing your consumption of foods, snacks, and drinks that are high in sugar.
- Replace your toothbrush every three to six months. A toothbrush with bent or broken bristles is less effective than a new toothbrush. Replace the head or entire toothbrush regularly for better brushing.
- Keep routine dental appointments. Unless otherwise directed, dentist appointments are usually scheduled every six months. Even the best oral habits cannot compare to a professional cleaning. These visits are precisely scheduled to keep bacteria from accumulating to the point of serious damage. Your dental team can diagnose and treat any issues that do arise effectively and efficiently.
Maintaining healthy smiles
Routine dental appointments are just as important as regular brushing and flossing. During these appointments, your hygienist uses special dental tools to clean and polish the teeth. Regular brushing and flossing can miss plaque which hardens into tartar which is hard to remove. Your hygienist’s instruments can remove built-up tartar and plaque from hard-to-reach areas. As tartar, bacteria, and stains build up between visits, this thorough cleaning by your hygienist is important to keep bacteria from spreading throughout the mouth. This helps prevent and control problems such as gum disease and decay.
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Your dental team works hard to preserve the health of your teeth and gums. Healthy habits and routine examinations are crucial to achieve that goal. It is important to keep up with your appointments. Appointments are specifically spaced to ensure the overall health of your mouth. These exams allow the dentist to detect potential issues early. The earlier problems are diagnosed and treated, the better the outlook.
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