The Best Dental Hygiene Practices to Use
In our hectic everyday lives, it is very easy for people to ignore their health. Whether they’re rushing to drop the kids off at school or trying to put in extra hours at the office for upcoming deadlines, many men and women pay less attention than they should to their health, and regular teeth cleaning and oral maintenance is no exception.
When it comes to dental hygiene, surprisingly few people take the time and care needed to keep their pearly whites clean and tartar-free. Many people go through their day forgetting to brush their teeth and often times may forget to floss for extended periods of time between dentist visits. As these missed cleanings pile up, the risk for cavities and gum disease increase significantly. Due to this, all-too-many people end up finding themselves needing fillings, root canals, and other oral surgery.
The fact is that relatively few adults and children consistently employ the correct oral hygiene techniques, and it’s a problem that dental hygienists see every single day. At Tria Dental, we believe strongly in the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That’s why we’ve put together an easy-to-follow list of best dental hygiene practices for our patients that will help ensure that their teeth and gums remain healthy outside of our facilities.
Brush Regularly with Proper Technique
One of the largest contributors to unhealthy teeth and gums is improper teeth cleaning, particularly due to infrequent or poor brushing. The American Dental Association recommends that both adults and children take the time to brush their teeth twice a day. Since it can be easy to underestimate the amount of time needed to fully clean your teeth, we recommend gentle brushing for at least two minutes. If necessary, use a timer in order to make sure you are brushing long enough.
Of course, in order to get the most out of these brushing sessions you will want to use your toothbrush properly. Dental hygienists often notice a considerable buildup of plaque or tartar in hard-to-reach areas due to improper brushing techniques. For best results, start by aiming your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle towards your gums and teeth, and then gently brush back and forth. Be sure to spend an equal amount of time on all teeth and pay extra attention to surface areas you may be likely to miss.
Finally, everyone should remember to replace their toothbrushes regularly. Since toothbrush bristles weaken and deteriorate over time, they gradually become far less effective at being able to reach difficult spots during brushing. This can lead to tartar buildup, so be sure to replace your brush every three months or when you can see the bristles are becoming worn down and weak.
Regular Flossing is Important
Even when remembering to regularly brush twice a day, many of us still tend to forget to floss as well. Although proper brushing techniques do manage to remove the majority of plaque, flossing is very important to get to those areas between teeth that brushes simply cannot reach. This is especially true for mouths where teeth are crowded and uneven.
Oral hygienists recognize that flossing offers many benefits that brushing alone doesn’t accomplish. When flossing, it is recommended that a length of floss is used that is long enough to perform all cleaning so that no previously used section of floss is reused. A fresh section of floss should be used to clean in-between each tooth so as to reduce the spreading of bacteria.
Just as with toothbrushing, there is a proper technique for flossing as well. Flossers should hold the ends of the floss between index finger and thumb on each hand, inserting a clean section of floss between teeth. The floss should then be curved around the tooth on one side and gently scraped. Repeat the same technique for the other side of the tooth and continue for the next section. Extra attention should be paid to hard-to-reach areas.
Dental Hygiene Checkups are Necessary
Finally, adults and children alike should always schedule regular checkups with their oral hygiene specialist. While proactive brushing and flossing can significantly reduce the need for oral surgery and prevent mouth-related disease, it is still important to visit your local dentist office on a continual basis. Although some people may only need to see their dentist once a year, many men and women may experience certain risk factors that make twice-annual oral exams and dental cleanings necessary.
A standard dental hygiene appointment includes exam, screening for cancer, a full dental cleaning, and possible x-rays as needed. Should the exam or x-rays uncover any issues that might require more intensive attention or surgery, the hygienist team and your doctor will consult with you regarding any recommendations.
If you are in need of an oral hygienist or pediatric dentistry, we at Tria Dental Tysons are here for you. Our Tyson, VA dental office is able to perform not only standard checkups but also dental implants, teeth whitening, crowns and caps, and other specialized dental work. Request an appointment today to receive the professional oral hygiene you deserve.
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