The best way to prevent dental problems starts at home. Maintaining a vigorous, daily oral hygiene routine and healthful diet is important in combatting decay.
You should be brushing at least twice a day for a minimum of two minutes each time. Place the soft toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums and brush in small circular motions. Also, brush your tongue to remove bacteria and improve bad breath. Electric toothbrushes are a sound investment to aid in removal of plaque and stains.
Flossing needs to be done daily to remove debris between the teeth. Using your thumbs and forefingers, take about 12 inches of floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches between the hands. Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and gently move up and down to break up the plaque, making sure to go below the gum.
Floss holders are also an easy way to floss. A water flosser removes plaque in-between the teeth and under the gums. It’s easy to use, even at a young age and requires less dexterity than floss. Specific tips for a water flosser can be effective for braces, and for cleaning around restorations like veneers, implants, crowns, and bridges.
For patients with dry mouth, a water flosser can be used to flush out accumulated food debris, which decreases decay risk.
Rinse with an ADA approved mouth rinse to help reduce the bacteria in your mouth and give you fresh breath. Non-alcoholic mouth rinses are best for those with dry mouth.
Dietary habits and Lifestyle
Many dietary habits and lifestyle factors can affect oral health and your overall well-being. Watch sugar intake. Having a sugar-laden diet contributes to tooth decay and gum problems. Bacteria in the mouth thrive in this sugar environment.
Avoid tobacco products. Smoking cigarettes and cigars and using tobacco products can cause periodontal disease, tooth decay, bad breath and oral cancer. The smoke from tobacco has a toxic effect on gum tissue and can interfere with blood flow.
Watch your alcohol intake. Drinking alcohol can contribute to oral problems by causing a dehydrated mouth, which can make your mouth acidic and allow bacteria to grow. Also, people who have alcohol addiction issues are probably less likely to follow good dental care habits consistently.
Be aware of medication side effects. Some medications have side effects that cause dry mouth which is more prone to gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath