Are You Cleaning Your Teeth Properly?

Are You Cleaning Your Teeth Properly?

Your mouth is the starting point for your digestion, and taking care of it means maintaining proper dental care. 

As you eat, many of the foods you ingest stain your teeth, and particles are often caught in between teeth. This combined with the bacteria in your mouth can lead to inflammation, infection, and gum disease (periodontitis). 

As oral health problems become more severe, they can contribute to even worse conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.

At SmileBoutique, proper dental care is a priority. Our team, led by Wayne Hofflich, DDS, and Tiffany Beam, RDH, is dedicated to giving you comprehensive, innovative oral care with a focus on a warm atmosphere and patient satisfaction.

So what do you need to do to make sure you're cleaning your teeth properly? What are the best habits to maintain good dental health? Let’s run down the checklist together.

Proper brushing habits

Routine and correct brushing helps remove bacteria and plaque on your teeth, which is key to preventing gum disease and other dental problems. In order to get the most out each time in front of the mirror brushing your teeth, follow these tips:

Take your time

Most Americans don’t spend enough time brushing their teeth. If you rush through this important task, you won’t remove as much plaque and bacteria as you should. On average, people brush their teeth for only about 45-70 seconds a day, when they should take at least two to three minutes twice a day to protect their teeth from disease.

Brush each whole tooth

Brush the front (outside) and back (inside) of your teeth at a 45-degree angle against the gumline, as well as the chewing surface of your teeth each time for the best clean.

Brush your tongue

This is good for eliminating bacteria that can cause bad breath and helping to keep your mouth minty fresh.

Use a soft brush

A soft-bristled brush with fluoride toothpaste is the best combination for eliminating bacteria and keeping your teeth clean. And replace your toothbrush regularly (every three to four months).

Proper flossing habits

While brushing is very important for dental health, don’t overlook flossing. Flossing reaches into the areas between teeth that you can’t get to with brushing. When flossing, wrap the floss in a C-shape and cover as much surface area of the tooth as possible. 

Try to cover about half the diameter of the tooth from each angle while flossing, and move up and down along the outer surface of the tooth and under the gum tissue. 

Plaque can get anywhere on the tooth, so doing this allows you to reach dangerous microbes that can form between teeth. Not flossing can lead to gum disease, such as gingivitis and periodontitis.

Proper dietary habits

What you eat directly affects your teeth. For example, foods loaded with sugars can contribute to tooth decay, because they adhere to teeth and the bacteria in your mouth loves to feed on the sugars. This is especially dangerous if you don’t brush and floss regularly.  

So reduce the amount of candy and other snack foods you consume and substitute foods that benefit your teeth. Such foods include:

These foods are high in fiber, calcium, and other nutrients. Phosphorus helps rebuild tooth enamel, and you can find it in poultry, fish, and eggs. 

Eating foods that help your teeth can be just as important as brushing and flossing, and better for your overall health.

Follow these steps and you’ll see healthier teeth and gums, while avoiding tooth decay and gum disease. If you have questions or concerns about your dental health, make an appointment by contacting our Mount Vernon, New York, office today.

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