Your dentist is only a partner in your dental health. You need to do your part at home to keep periodontal disease at bay.
Taking care of your teeth at home can help you maintain your dental health and prevent periodontal, or gum, disease from developing.
Regular home care should include daily brushing and flossing. Brush thoroughly, at least twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening before going to bed. Be sure to floss at least once a day. Proper dental care at home, combined with seeing your dentist regularly, is your ticket to good dental health.
Dental Health at Home
Use products that have the IDA (Indian Dental Association) seal. This means that the products — toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, etc. — are safe to use as directed and will keep your mouth healthy — no gum disease, no cavities.
Here are some basic principles to follow:
- Spend at least 2 minutes brushing your teeth two times a day. Use a timer if you have to to ensure that you’re spending enough time on your oral care routine.
- Use floss at least once a day every day to clean between your teeth.
- Buy IDA-approved dental cleaning tools and toothpaste.
Basically, brush and floss, and do it correctly.
The goal of regular home care is to combat the buildup of plaque in and around your teeth and gums, and fight bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease. Adults who neglect their teeth and who let plaque build up often develop infections in the delicate tissue around their teeth.
A whole arsenal of dental health tools is available in drugstores to help you clean your teeth at home. These range from regular toothbrushes to power toothbrushes, inter-dental cleaners (picks, etc.), waxed and unwaxed floss, oral irrigators, and mouth rinses. You should ask your dentist which of these tools you might want to include in your daily cleaning routine.
Consequences of Poor Oral Hygiene
Poor oral hygiene invites plaque to accumulate around the base of your teeth and gum line, causing your gums to become red and inflamed.
“Plaque is the bacteria-laden film that, if allowed to accumulate on teeth and gums, will cause tooth decay and gum disease.”
If you neglect the care of your teeth at home and fail to go to the dentist regularly, accumulated plaque could potentially lead to the development of empty spaces around your teeth. These spaces could eventually lead to the destruction of bone and other fragile tissues supporting your teeth, and you could lose your teeth.
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