Dental hygiene and general dentistry is essential to your oral health. The San Diego and La Jolla area dentists at Strober Dental can help you maintain good oral health and provide tips and education for caring for your teeth at home.
The Importance of Oral Hygiene
Good oral hygiene prevents gum disease, tooth loss, cavities and other problems affecting the comfort, function and appearance of your teeth and mouth. Oral hygiene starts with you – by taking care of your teeth at home, you can prevent common dental problems. At the dentist’s office, professional dental hygiene performs the cleaning tasks you cannot do at home.
By adopting proper dental hygiene habits, you prevent the buildup of plaque. The film that accumulates on your teeth is dental plaque, and it contains bacteria, food debris and saliva. The bacteria living in plaque secrete an acidic product that eats away at your tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay and cavities. Brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist all combat the buildup of plaque.
What Should Dental Hygiene Include?
Good dental hygiene should include:
- Visiting your dentist every six months
- Brushing your teeth twice a day
- Flossing your teeth once a day
- Eating healthy, nutritious foods
- Drinking water regularly
Eating lots of healthy vegetables, whole grains and other nutrient-rich foods can keep your teeth strong and healthy. When you drink water, you flush your mouth of foods debris and prevent the filmy plaque from forming on your teeth.
Visiting the dentist is an essential component to overall dental wellness. When you visit the dentist for a routine visit, important services may include:
- Digital X-rays, to detect problems like tooth decay, tooth fractures and other oral health problems.
- Teeth cleanings, to remove plaque and tartar, and to gently polish tooth surfaces.
- Dental exams, to inspect the gums, teeth and other oral surfaces for signs of infection, disease or other problems.
The preventative measures taken during your regular dental visits stop the progression of any oral health problems. By visiting the dentist regularly and in combination with a good at-home dental hygiene routine, you have a better chance of enjoying consistent dental wellness.
The Right Way to Brush and Floss
Ask our dentists about the best ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong. When you brush your teeth, remember to:
- Softly brush, with feather-light pressure
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums
- Brush in circular motions on the sides of your teeth
- Brush back and forth on the biting surfaces
- Remember to brush your tongue
Brushing cannot reach between your teeth, where plaque settles in. Flossing is the only way to remove the plaque hidden there. When you floss, gently contour the floss against the side of the tooth. Brushing and flossing are the most important things you can do for your oral health.