From childhood to your senior years, it’s important to practice healthy dental hygiene habits. Having a clean mouth is fundamental to healthy teeth and gums.
Consequences of not paying attention to dental hygiene habits are:
- Cavities: Cavities are a result of tooth decay.
- Bacteria buildup: Bacteria can damage the enamel of your teeth.
- Tartar: Tartar is a form of hardened plaque that can lead to toothaches, cavities, and gum disease.
- Gum disease: Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease can lead to tooth sensitivity, tooth shifting, or tooth loss.
- Untreated gum disease: Left untreated, gum disease can enter your blood stream causing heart disease, diabetes, or low birth weight in infants.
What are healthy dental hygiene habits?
Brushing and flossing
Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day, in the morning and just before bed. Regular brushing and flossing removes harmful bacteria that can cause plaque and tartar build up.
Choose a soft toothbrush with well-designed bristles on a small head. This will allow you to get into the tight spaces. Brush gently for three minutes, and include your tongue to remove the bacteria that may have spread to it. When it comes to shopping for toothpaste, floss and toothbrushes, look for the products that are endorsed by the American Dental Association.
When flossing, it’s important to use the correct technique or you won’t be as effective as you could be. Here’s how to do it right:
- Wash your hands first. You’ll be putting them in your mouth so it’s a good idea to clean them beforehand.
- Break off enough floss. Don’t be stingy, you’ll need enough for a couple of wraps around each index finger.
- Slide the floss between your teeth using a zig-zagging motion.
- Make a “c” with the floss by wrapping it around the bottom of your tooth and pull it up carefully.
- Don’t forget to get both sides of each tooth.
Regular, professional cleanings and check-ups
No matter how well you brush and floss at home, you still need regular, professional care. Because teeth usually have hard to reach areas, most people will still build up some plaque and tartar on their teeth. The dental hygienists at Top Down Dental in San Jose/Los Gatos use modern dental equipment that will remove the stubborn plaque and tartar that your toothbrush missed.
If you have a lot of tartar build-up, Top Down Dental may schedule you for subsequent visits to make sure all the tartar is removed. Tartar build-up can cause gum disease. Keeping on top of tartar is a simple, pro-active way of protecting you from the harmful effects of gum disease.
During your cleaning, the dental hygienist may polish your teeth and apply fluoride to protect your teeth from decay.
At your check-up, Top Down Dental’s hygienists and Dr. Nancy Nehawadian will examine your teeth and gums. They’re looking for cavities, gum problems, tartar build-up and other issues that may cause you grief in the future. By catching and treating your dental problems early, you’ll avoid painful, costly issues that could have some real negative impacts on your overall health.
Top Down Dental in San Jose/Los Gatos recommends that you get your teeth checked twice a year and cleaned as often as Dr. Nancy Nehawandian recommends for your unique needs.
Save money and keep your teeth, clean, healthy and beautiful
Investing in good oral hygiene habits and regular, professional dental care will help you keep your teeth and gums as healthy as they can be. At Top Down Dental in San Jose/Los Gatos, our staff are trained in preventative dentistry. They can teach you how to prevent dental problems, and diagnose and treat your dental issues early on, boosting your health and saving you money. Call us at (408) 354-5600, or e-mail us to learn more.