Brushing and flossing your teeth are effective and easy-to-use tools that can be among your best defenses for preventing periodontal disease and cavities. A good oral hygiene routine helps remove a sticky film called plaque. Plaque contains bacteria that feed on leftover food or sugar in your mouth. When that happens, it releases an acid that can eat away at the outer shell of your teeth and cause cavities, periodontal disease, and even tooth loss.
Your Home Care Routine
Your daily oral hygiene routine should include a thorough brushing that lasts for two minutes, at least twice each day, as well as flossing.
If you have a new toothbrush and the bristles are quick to fray, then there is a chance you could be brushing too hard.
It is a good practice to replace your toothbrush every three to four months. Just like trying to brush your hair with a hairbrush that doesn’t have proper bristles, a worn out toothbrush is equally as inefficient.
The toothpaste you use should be an ADA-accepted toothpaste. This is important to ensure the right amount of fluoride is in your toothpaste.
Dental floss is effective at cleaning areas where your toothbrush cannot reach. Small gaps and tight spaces between teeth catch food debris, as well as sugars and acids from drinks all day long. Flossing helps to clean out these tough to reach spaces.
It only takes a few minutes to floss your teeth each day, but those few minutes can contribute to a lifetime of optimal oral health. Floss is among the most effective tools at your disposal to keep your gums clean and healthy. Get into the habit of flossing your teeth regularly – your gums will thank you.
The most important thing about cleaning between your teeth is to do it. As long as you do a thorough job, it doesn’t matter when. Pick a time of day when you can devote an extra couple of minutes to your dental care. People who are too tired at the end of the day may benefit from cleaning between their teeth first thing in the morning or after lunch. Others might like to go to bed with a clean mouth. Regardless of when you brush and floss, rest assured that doing it every day as directed—as well as visiting our Hamilton periodontal office for deep cleanings and exams—is your best line of defense against oral disease.