Routine visits for checkups and cleanings are essential for keeping your smile healthy, but you also need to care for your teeth and gums from home in between these visits. Brushing and flossing helps control plaque buildup and mitigate other factors that could otherwise lead to cavities or gum disease. In today’s blog, your Des Moines, IA, dentist discusses proper oral healthcare from home.
Watch What You Eat
Did you know that foods high in sugar and starch, and drinks with high amounts of sugar, could leave behind particles for bacteria to consume? Over time, these particles feed bacteria and allow plaque buildup to accumulate on the surfaces of the teeth, weakening enamel and eventually leading to higher risks of tooth decay, as well as infection, gingivitis, and gum disease. We suggest drinking more water and cutting back on sodas, fruit juices, energy drinks, and sports drinks. Eat healthier snacks too, including lots of fruits, veggies, dairy products, and whole grain items. Some fresh fruits and veggies, like carrots, broccoli, and apples, actually help curb away plaque as you consume them!
Brushing Your Teeth
You should also take steps to remove food particles too! We suggest brushing your teeth when you wake up, and once more prior to bed, for about two minutes each session. Using a toothbrush, whether electric or manual, with soft bristles, as this prevents inadvertent enamel damage or gum irritation if you brush too hard. Be sure you use a toothpaste that contains fluoride too, as this helps strengthen outer enamel and lower the risk of tooth decay.
Even more vital than brushing is flossing, and this should be done every night before you go to sleep. Using a length of floss tape, run the tape up and down each side of every tooth, and dip below the gum line when you do. These actions help remove trapped food particles, and reduce the risk of gum disease. You should take these steps every day, and they also help people of all ages.
Along with homecare, you need to also perform an exam and cleaning every six months. A checkup is a chance is for us to diagnose any issues in the earliest stages. A cleaning removes all plaque completely from the smile. If you have any questions about to manage your oral health and keep your teeth and gums strong, then contact our team today.
Do You Need a Checkup and Cleaning?
We want to help you better understand the steps necessary to keep smiles healthy and strong. To learn more about general and preventive dental care, then schedule a consultation with Dr. Burds by calling Gateway Dental Group in downtown Des Moines, IA, at (515) 244-9565.