You can partner with Dr. John M. Hucklebridge, your Plano TX dentist, to work toward maintaining optimal oral health. Develop a list of healthy dental habits that you can follow on a daily basis.
Many of the habits that keep your teeth healthy don’t even require a visit to the dentist. Your daily oral hygiene routine is an important step in maintaining the teeth.
Your dentist recommends that you brush your teeth at least twice every day. This helps to prevent plaque from collecting on the teeth and along the gumlines. However, it’s not enough merely to brush. You must be sure to use the proper technique and brush for a sufficient amount of time. Angle the brush toward the gumline and be sure to brush all of the tooth’s surfaces, in addition to the tongue. A thorough brushing typically takes 2-3 minutes. You may find it helpful to set up an egg-timer in your bathroom to get a sense for how long you should brush.
If you have the opportunity, you can brush at lunchtime, too. If not, you may choose to rinse your mouth to remove any lingering particles of food or you can chew sugarless gum to prompt your mouth’s natural cleaning process.
Flossing is another important piece of the dental puzzle. Flossing dislodges plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces that can’t be reached with a brush alone, such as the spaces between the teeth. When flossing, take care to get in between all of the teeth and don’t skimp on the rearmost teeth. They need the flossing the most!
Even if you have dental appliances, such as fixed permanent bridges or braces, you must floss. In such cases, you may need to use a floss threader to get under the appliances.
Be sure to schedule check-ups and prophylaxis, or dental cleanings, with your dentist on a semi-annual basis. Your dentist can detect problems at these appointments, and a professional cleaning helps to eliminate any plaque or tartar buildup that occurs despite brushing and flossing.
If you have children in your household, get them started down the path to good oral health at an early age. Have them follow the same healthy habits that you do, and set a good example by following through on your dentist’s recommendations for your at-home regimen.