Though most of us have done it for all of our lives, not everyone consistently brushes and flosses their teeth properly. The fact that over 90% of adults in the United States have experienced at least one cavity in their permanent teeth attests to the fact that many people could improve their daily hygiene habits. Your Rochester family dentist, Dr. Calcagno, understands that life can be hectic. Rather than admonishing you for poor hygiene, she can help you become an expert at brushing your teeth to help avoid dental health troubles that might require extensive treatment later.
There’s a Purpose
The first step to optimizing your hygiene routine is to understand why you brush and floss your teeth continuously. The sticky, colorless film that covers your teeth sometimes, called plaque, contains about 600 different identifiable types of bacteria. Some are harmless, but a few particular germs can produce acids and toxins that destroy tooth enamel and irritate your gum tissue. Bacteria form plaque to protect themselves while they accumulate, and controlling the film helps neutralize the microbes’ influence on your dental health. Since bacteria inhabit your mouth, plaque is a constant threat, and your toothbrush and floss are your most important weapons against it.
- Unlike a table a countertop, your teeth are sensitive, and brushing too harshly can strip their protective layer of enamel. Brush plaque gently from your teeth using a soft-bristled toothbrush with the ADA seal of approval on its packaging.
- The general rule is to brush at least twice a day and floss at least once, preferably before bedtime. When you sleep at night, your saliva production slows, and oral bacteria can gather in force. Brushing and flossing before bed can minimize the amount of plaque and bacteria you’ll have to deal with in the morning.
- Before brushing in the morning, eat a healthy, well-balanced breakfast. Eating helps restart your saliva flow, which help you clear out the accumulated bacteria when you brush your teeth.
- For best results, the ADA suggests brushing for at about two minutes. Carefully brush every surface of every tooth, including along your gum line. Angling the brush will help you reach the plaque at your gum line more effectively, reducing your risk of developing gum disease.
- Besides brushing and flossing at home, be sure to attend a professional dental checkup and cleaning at least once every six months. Our hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth of plaque that your toothbrush may have missed, and plaque’s calcified (hardened) form, tartar. Dr. Calcagno will perform a comprehensive inspection for signs that might indicate early trouble, and prescribe an appropriate treatment plan, if necessary.
About Your Family Dentist:
Dr. Gilly Calcagno is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the American Dental Association, and the Minnesota Dental Association, and is active in local dental implant study clubs. To schedule a consultation, call Calcagno Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry today at (507) 281-3659.