Are You Keeping Good Oral Hygiene Habits?
We all want great smiles. Strong, attractive teeth, healthy gums--they're part of a smile that can last a lifetime with good preventive care. Your dentist in St. Petersburg, FL, Dr. Rosemarie Marquez, stresses the important role at-home oral hygiene habits play in maintaining your best oral health. Learn here what those habits entail.
The Importance of Brushing and Flossing
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that children through senior adults brush their teeth twice a day for a full two minutes. Also, everyone should floss once a day to remove plaque from between the teeth and at the gum line. But, are we all doing those tasks consistently and correctly? The Centers for Disease Control reports that most American adults do not floss consistently, if at all, leading, not only, to gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss, but also to systemic (whole body) diseases.
Is it time for you to straighten up your oral hygiene routine? Here are some tips to assist you in doing so:
- Use fluoride toothpaste (over age 3) and a soft brush. Fluoride hardens tooth enamel, and soft bristles avoid abrading tender gums.
- Set a timer on your phone to ensure you brush for two minutes.
- Floss carefully and gently, particularly if you are just beginning the habit. Never snap floss hard against your gums, and rinse with water afterwards.
- Brushing after meals and snacks is beneficial but not always possible. For those times when you can't brush, chewing a sugar free gum (preferably one with xylitol) is a good alternative. Chewing stimulates salivary production which helps cleanse the mouth and xylitol helps to keep your bacterial count down.
- Use a mouth rinse only as recommended by your St. Petersburg dentist. Some formulations help control gum disease, bad breath, and cavities.
- Get semi-annual check-ups and hygienic cleanings with Dr. Marquez. She'll spot problems before they do a lot of damage. Your friendly hygienist will scale your teeth to remove harmful plaque and tartar. Plus, you'll receive important assessments for tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, dental bite and more. Ask your hygienist how to improve your flossing and brushing routines.
The Importance of Diet
You are what you eat. Dr. Marquez asks her patients to limit processed sugar and alcohol and to avoid tobacco in all forms. Also, she says to increase fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, grains, and dairy products for calcium.
Interestingly, water is an essential part of a healthy diet. The American Dental Association says water washes teeth and gums, avoiding dry mouth. It controls bacteria and their acids, and water increases saliva and its antimicrobial properties. So drink several glasses a day, and take that water bottle along to the gym.
The Importance of Preventive Dentistry
It starts at home at the bathroom sink and at the kitchen table. If you need to schedule your six-month appointment with Dr. Marquez, please contact the office today for an appointment in St. Petersburg, FL. We have convenient early morning hours. Call (727) 345-1774.