At Smile Rite II, we believe that oral hygiene education is the first step to preventive oral care. That is why Dr. Anthony Pfleger wants to share the following dental hygiene tips.
- Proper Brushing
One of the first steps to help keep your teeth clean involves proper brushing. Start with your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and make short back and forth strokes across the sides and tops of your teeth. Hold the brush vertically and use several short strokes to clean the back or front surfaces of your teeth. We recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes.
Flossing allows you to remove germs that are stuck there. We recommend taking a piece of floss 18 inches long and using a slow and gentle sawing motion to remove food particles. Allow yourself to use a fresh area of floss every few teeth, to prevent reinserting bacteria you have just removed. Floss at least once per day.
- Avoid Tobacco Use
Tobacco can result in a lot of oral problems, including oral cancer. Smoking and chewing both cause bad breath and stained teeth.
- Eat and Drink Food With Calcium
Eat and drink foods that are good calcium sources, such as milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, cabbage, salmon and seafood. These, along with other calcium-rich foods, will strengthen your teeth and decrease your odds of dental disease.
- Clean Your Tongue
The tongue is the main part of the mouth that harbors bacteria and food particles. That is why after cleaning your teeth, use the bristles of your toothbrush and a small dab of toothpaste to carefully brush the top of the tongue. Start by reaching toward the back of the tongue and then working forward, towards the opening of the mouth. Brush the entire surface of the tongue, using gentle pressure, and then finish by rinsing with water.
- Avoid Sugar
Avoid excess sugar in food, as it damages your teeth. Try to only indulge in sugar and sweets occasionally and avoid carbonated soft drinks and acidic fluids.
- Use Mouthwash
Using mouthwash is an important step of personal oral hygiene. A mouthwash can go where toothbrushes and floss can’t, getting rid of debris that irritates the gumline and causes gingivitis. Mouthwashes can come in many different varieties. Depending on the kind you use, mouthwash reduces chronic bad breath, dental caries, dental plaque and tartar. Some brands can also fight gingivitis and periodontitis, even whitening teeth.
- Avoid Constant Snacking
Eating constantly can cause dental problems, especially when your food is high in sugar where it can increase the chance of cavities. Brushing your teeth may clear them of bacteria and food particles, but if you eat a snack afterward, you will need to brush again. Having a snack before bed without brushing afterward allows food and sugar to remain on your teeth for too long, generating the ideal environment for bacteria to grow.
- Clean and Change Your Brush
Is important to rinse your brush after each use and allow it to air dry. If you don’t, it can breed new bacteria and introduce it into your mouth. Also, as the bristles of your toothbrush deteriorate with time, it will also need to be replaced. We recommend a new brush every three to four months and not sharing it with others.
- Visit the Dentist
Visit our dentist for regular dental checkups at least twice a year. Learn how to recognize unusual symptoms, like bleeding, inflamed gums or a sore that does not heal within two weeks. If you are concerned about your dental health, consult our dental office in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, at 717-960-9969.