It's not easy to maintain consistent good oral health. That's because in the invisible but serious battle against gum disease and tooth decay, there's no neutral ground. You're either fighting it offensively, or your losing. The moment after you brush and floss, those native oral bacteria are repopulating their favorite playground, your mouth. Our approach includes the professional cleanings that your dentist provides and an emphasis on careful patient education so that you can continue the battle effectively at home.
To Maintain Your Dental Health
- Achieve a balanced diet. This can be achieved by eating a variety of foods preferably from each of the five major food groups: breads, cereals and other grain products; fruits; vegetables; meat, poultry and fish; milk, cheese and yogurt.
- Limit the number of snacks that you eat. If you do snack, choose nutritious foods, such as cheese, raw vegetables, plain yogurt or a piece of fruit. Each time that you eat foods that contain sugars or starches, brush your teeth.
- Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Clean between your teeth daily with floss or interdental cleaners.
- Maintain your regularly scheduled check-ups with your dentist.
The best way to remove decay-causing plaque is by brushing and cleaning between your teeth every day. Brushing removes plaque from the tooth surfaces. Cleaning between the teeth once a day with floss or interdental cleaners removes plaque from between the teeth and in the areas where your toothbrush cannot reach. It is essential in preventing gum disease.
Many of the foods you eat cause the bacteria in your mouth to produce acids. Sugared foods, such as candy and cookies, and starched foods, such as bread and crackers can all cause acids to form. Plaque produces substances that irritate the gums, making them red, tender and bleed easily. After a while, gums may pull away from the teeth allowing pockets to form and fill with bacteria. If the gums are not treated, the bone around the teeth can be destroyed. The teeth may become loose or have to be removed. In fact, gum disease is a main cause of tooth loss in adults.
Tips for Better Oral Hygiene:
- Carry a travel toothbrush. This lets you brush after eating, no matter where you are.
- Rinse after eating. This keeps food from sticking to your teeth when you can't brush.
- Try an electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes can make teeth cleaning easier.