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Posted on: July 11, 2022
Basic Dental Care in Union
Good dental care is defined as the daily maintenance regimen you use for your teeth, gums, and mouth to keep them healthy and disease-free. No matter how good your routine is though, you may be able to improve it. The following tips and techniques may help you improve your daily dental regimen, so you’ll have a beautiful smile for decades.
Where Does Basic Dental Care Start?
Basic dental hygiene begins at home and should carry throughout your day. The American Dental Association recommends that, at a minimum, you should:
- Brush twice daily
- Use toothpaste with fluoride
- Floss at least once daily
- Have an annual exam and teeth cleaning from your dentist
However, there are additional steps you can take beyond the minimum to increase your dental health, and the steps aren’t complicated.
Brushing Twice Daily
Brushing twice each day is a great start, but are you brushing for two full minutes each time? If not, then you should be. The ADA recommends that you brush for 30 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth. A quadrant is:
- The upper right side of your jaw
- The upper left side of your jaw
- The lower right side of your jaw
- The lower left side of your jaw
The order doesn’t matter as long as you brush all four quadrants for at least 30 seconds each. Brushing less time than that is better than not brushing at all, but research indicates that 30 seconds is optimal for removing plaque and food particles from your teeth.
It’s easy to skimp on your oral hygiene when you’re exhausted or short on time, but we recommend that you skimp on something else. Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the best ways to maintain good physical health, and research has linked many major diseases such as dementia, stroke, and heart attack to poor oral hygiene. So don’t forget to brush and floss!
In addition to brushing for enough time, you need a good toothbrush. Unless your dentist has recommended otherwise, you should use a soft-bristled toothbrush with bristles of varying lengths. Longer bristles can reach places that shorter ones can’t, but you need the shorter bristles for the surfaces of your teeth. Use gentle, circular strokes in back and forth motion to cover all your tooth surfaces. Speed and increased pressure aren’t more effective. Too much pressure can damage your tooth enamel, so go slow and use gentle pressure.
Change your toothbrush every three months. If you’ve been ill, get a new toothbrush as soon as you recover, so you don’t become reinfected. If the bristles start to fray or splay, then change your toothbrush.
Your toothpaste is as important as your toothbrush. Most toothpaste now contains fluoride, which is a naturally occurring mineral that helps strengthen your enamel and prevent cavities. Although most municipalities now fluoridate their water supply, don’t worry about getting too much of the mineral. Water supplies are fluoridated to the minimum standard for health, so you should be fine. However, if you have questions, ask your dentist.
Forgetting to Floss? It’s Vital to Your Oral Health
Flossing is almost as important as brushing. The ADA recommends that you floss at least once daily, but ideally, you should floss after each meal or snack. This is because when you eat, bacteria and food particles get lodged in between your teeth, and if not removed, they’ll start to form plaque. Only a dentist can remove plaque because it’s a tough substance, but brushing and flossing can keep plaque formation to a minimum.
Several types of dental floss are available, and it doesn’t matter which you select. Some people prefer regular dental floss. Others prefer dental picks. Still others prefer water flossers. As long as you floss, the style of the implement doesn’t matter, and neither does the order. Some people prefer to floss first, then brush. Others prefer to brush first, then floss. Either way is acceptable, but if you have questions, ask your dentist.
Although not as essential as brushing and flossing, mouthwash is a great way to remove any residual bacteria that brushing and flossing missed, such as that on your tongue. The surface of your tongue is very rough and can harbor bacteria unless you brush your tongue, which is a good idea, but not many people do it. Using an antibacterial mouthwash will help keep your breath fresh while reducing plaque and bacteria.
What Else Can I Do?
To improve your dental health as well as your overall health, try snacking on fruits, vegetables, and nuts rather than sugar-laden cookies, cake, and candy. Both your body and your teeth will thank you for this. Also, substitute plain water for sugar-laden drinks. Although plain water may be boring, it’s essential for the proper function of your body, and it will help keep your mouth healthier. In addition, water will rinse out residual bacteria and keep your salivary glands working better.
Does My Union Dentist Offer Basic Dental Care Services?
If you need basic dental care, then call our Union office, and we can answer all your questions and schedule an appointment for you. If it’s been a while since you’ve had a dental checkup, we recommend that you get one. For our first-time patients, we include an oral cancer screening in their exam. We provide the following services, and more, at our Union location:
- Regular checkups
- Teeth cleanings
- Dental exams
- Oral cancer screenings
The incidence of oral cancer is rapidly increasing, and since it presents asymptomatically, you may have it without being aware it’s there. Oral cancer is responsible for three percent of all new cancer cases, and for those who smoke or drink, the statistics are higher.
We Want to Help You…
If you need basic dental care or any other dental procedures, then call American Dental Center at (908) 279-0623, and we’ll be happy to answer all your questions or schedule an appointment. We’re very proud of the reputation we’ve earned as one of the best in the area, and we’re sure you’ll be happy with your experience in our Union office.
We’ll schedule an appointment for you, and you can ask your dentist all the questions you have while you get your teeth examined and cleaned. You can also schedule your appointment online or stop by the office and schedule in person.
We look forward to working with you.