Few people want to go to the dentist, and fewer still want to deal with uncomfortable procedures such as fillings and root canals. If you vigilantly maintain your dental health, then you can minimize the amount of time and money that you need to spend at the dentist. To help you achieve that goal, here are some personal dental hygiene tips:
Everyone knows that you should ideally brush twice a day, once when you wake up and once before going to bed, but why is that?
Throughout the day, regardless of what you eat, plaque will build up throughout your mouth. Plaque is entirely natural and can't really be eliminated by changing your diet or habits. The danger of plaque is twofold.
First, plaque is acidic and will burn through your enamel if left to sit. Second, plaque can harden if left in place for a long period of time, leading to the creation of tartar. Experts say that plaque can begin causing problems after 24 hours, but will become much more problematic after 4-10 days.
By brushing your teeth, you are effectively removing most of the damaging plaque from your mouth. If you are incredibly thorough, then you can actually maintain a high level of dental health while only brushing once per day, since that will effectively prevent plaque from reaching that 24 hour mark.
One small choice that can have a big impact on your dental health is what kind of toothbrush you use. If you use a simple manual toothbrush, then you might not be giving your teeth the attention that they deserve. Studies show that electric toothbrushes are much more effective at reducing plaque and gingivitis than manuals.
This is due to the nature of an electric toothbrush, which quickly vibrates while you brush. It offers the same cleaning power of a manual toothbrush, but the added vibration helps to break apart hardened tartar, which is impossible for a manual.
Finally, if you aren't flossing, then you are just asking for an expensive trip to the dentist. The toothbrush is totally incapable of reaching the areas between your teeth, which is where a huge amount of plaque likes to reside. The manner in which we chew food means that a lot of small particles will get trapped between our teeth, and the only easy way to remove that organic matter is to floss it out.
If you don't like to floss because it makes your gums bleed, then there is a good chance that your gums simply aren't used to flossing. After a couple weeks of regular flossing, your gums should no longer bleed. If it continues to be a problem, then you should talk to your dentist about options for more sensitive gums.
To learn more, contact a dental clinic like Family & Cosmetic Dentistry.