You should be seeing your dentist a minimum of two times a year. This is important to check the health of your gum tissue and regular x-rays to catch active decay while it's small.
How many times a day should I brush my teeth?
Brushing should be done at least two times a day. The aid of an electric toothbrush can be helpful in preventing gum disease and decay. Manual toothbrushes should be replaced every 3-4 months as the bristles can wear down and become weak.
How often should I floss my teeth?
Flossing should be done once a day. Not only is this the hardest habit to keep but the most important. Flossing stimulates gum tissue, keeping gums strong and healthy and also removes decay causing bacteria in between the teeth that can lead to decay and gum disease.
Do certain foods and beverages stain my teeth? Is there anything I can do to lessen the effects of staining?
Coffee, tea, red wine, blueberries, dark sodas, cranberry juice, soy sauce and beets are the worst offenders! Brushing your teeth or swirling water around your mouth immediately after eating or drinking these "culprits" can help mitigate their effects.
Does eating sugar affect my teeth?
Limit how frequently you consume sugar drinks, gum and candies as sugar lowers the pH (acidity) level in the mouth and the bacteria that cause tooth decay thrive in that environment. Bathing teeth in sugar throughout the day prevents the normal, healthy pH level from being restored. Even dried fruit, eaten as a healthy snack, is full of fructose, which is sugar. And, it's ironic that sugar mints used to mask bad breath can actually harm teeth.
Is smoking bad for my dental health?
Don't smoke - smokers are more likely than non-smokers to have oral cancer, bad breath, tooth loss, recessed gums and facial wrinkling. And smoking is also a major cause of tooth discoloration.
Are there benefits to using a fluoride toothpaste?
For sure! There are a lot of different toothpaste options on the market; arguably the most important thing to consider in picking your toothpaste is the flouride content. Flouride helps protect teeth from cavities by actually changing the chemical structure of teeth, making them much more resistant to the caries process and the cavities that process causes.
I heard that brushing your tongue is good for you. Is this true?
Clean your tongue every morning. This helps to remove the buildup of bacteria on your tongue, which is the main reason for bad breath. While using your brush to clean your tongue is helpful, using a tongue scraper is much better.
What kinds of information should I provide to my dentist?
Updating your dental health professional regarding your medical history is important in giving you the right care. Having a list of current medications is also important because of the possible effects that it can have on your teeth.