Dental Hygiene & Teeth Cleaning
Maintaining good dental hygiene habits is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that your teeth and gums remain healthy for years to come. There are two key components to your oral hygiene regimen: daily at-home care and regularly-scheduled office dental cleanings. Both must be completed diligently to prevent the development of serious oral health issues.
At-Home Dental Hygiene
It is important to brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. Make sure you use a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid damaging your teeth. It is best to brush in small circles, holding the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle with your gum line. You should brush for at least two minutes, and make sure all surfaces – the front, back, and sides of your teeth – are all covered while brushing.
To floss properly, wrap the floss around your middle fingers and grasp it in between your index finger and thumb. Your middle fingers will maintain a firm grip on the floss while your index fingers and thumbs guide it between your teeth. Use an up-and-down sweeping motion while flossing, and make sure to floss below the gum line as well as along the sides of your teeth. It is important to floss between all of your teeth, even the ones at the back of your mouth which may be hard to reach.
The good news is there are now many wonderful flossing tools that have the floss pre-strung and have a handle to hold so you don’t need to use your fingers to wrap the floss around, This makes flossing doable for virtually everyone.
If you have young children, you should start teaching them good oral hygiene practices as soon as they have teeth. Encourage your child to brush as soon as he or she is comfortable handling the toothbrush. There are even teething rings with tooth brush bristles for little ones so they don’t poke their mouth by going in too deep. You will need to brush your child’s teeth yourself, too, until your child can brush effectively on his own.
Professional In-Office Teeth Cleanings
Unfortunately, maintaining good oral hygiene practices at home is not enough to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. This must be supplemented with professional in-office dental cleanings which will remove plaque and tartar which cannot be eliminated through brushing and flossing.
Mesa dentists Dr. LeSueur and Dr. Dodaro recommend that you visit our office at least twice a year for a regular check up and teeth cleaning. If you frequently develop dental cavities or require treatment for gum disease, you may need to come to our office more frequently.
At your regular dental cleanings, Dr. LeSueur and Dr. Dodaro will examine your teeth to identify places of decay between the teeth. X-rays will also be taken periodically to detect more serious oral health issues while they are in the early stages of development. They will also screen for oral cancer and check for TMJ and bite problems on these exams.