The American Dental Association (ADA) says that 70 percent of American adults brush their teeth twice a day. A full 30 percent brush once or not at all. What’s the result of oral hygiene neglect? Gingivitis, tooth decay and bad breath are common problems. When combined with little to no preventive care at the dentist’s office, you have a roadmap to oral health disaster, says Dr. Clarine Green Hightower, dentist in Bowie, MD. Learn her specific tips for toothbrushing your way to better oral health.
Twice a Day Everyday
To counter gum disease and dental decay, the American Dental Association (ADA) advises everyone–from toddlers to senior adults–brush their teeth two times a day for two minutes per session. The objective is to remove toxic plaque which accumulates on and between teeth and at the gum line. Plaque contains Streptococcus mutans, the bacteria responsible for cavities.
Additionally, oral bacteria inflame and infect gum tissue. The problem begins with mild gingivitis and left unchecked, becomes destructive periodontitis, a major cause of tooth loss in the US. So, good brushing twice a day for two minutes benefits soft oral tissues, too.
Pick a Good Brush, and Use It Well
Dr. Clarine Green Hightower and her associate dentist, Dr. Yumma Valiulla, teach their patients the value of a toothbrush with soft bristles. This type of brush is easy on the enamel and does not abrade tender gums. Change it every two to three months and after you finish the flu or a cold.
Also, it’s important to use that toothbrush correctly. When you begin your oral hygiene routine, put a ribbon of fluoridated toothpaste on the full length of the brush. (kids should use a pea-size amount) Place the bristles at a 45-degree angle to the gums and teeth. Using a downward sweeping motion, brush all front tooth surfaces, working systematically around the top and bottom arches. Proceed to the chewing surfaces, and finish with gentle vertical strokes on the backside of teeth. Brush your tongue as it’s rough surface is notorious for collecting odor-causing germs. Rinse well with water to finish.
Partner with Flossing and In-office Care
The ADA urges patients to follow brushing with flossing in between teeth each day. Use waxed or unwaxed floss, y-shaped flossers or interdental picks. The choice is yours; just be consistent with this oral hygiene practice which helps gums and teeth plaque-free.
Also, see Dr. Clarine Green Hightower or her associate dentist, Dr. Yumma Valiulla, twice yearly for a comprehensive oral exam, digital X-rays as needed and a hygienic cleaning. This preventive care keeps smiles strong and bright and avoids complicated problems and treatments. If you have questions regarding how to care for your teeth at home, your routine check-up provides the perfect opportunity to ask and learn.
Make Your Appointment
Contact Ambiance Dental Spa today to set-up your routine appointment. We have very convenient hours and would love to see you and your smile soon.