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Posted on: July 25, 2022
Dental Routine and Gum Care in Alpharetta
Not only is good oral hygiene beneficial for your mouth, but it’s also beneficial for your whole body and may help you live longer! Research has linked poor oral health to serious diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, so following the American Dental Association guidelines for good oral hygiene can extend your life. However, no matter the quality of your oral hygiene regimen, there’s usually room for improvement, and our Alpharetta office can help you get the best oral hygiene routine possible, so give us a call for more information.
At a minimum, you should brush twice each day. Ideally, you should brush and floss after each meal or snack. After you eat, bacteria and food particles lodge between your teeth and gums. When they’re not removed through brushing and flossing, they can start to form decay and gum disease. When they remain on the teeth, they start to erode your tooth enamel and become plaque, which can only be removed by a dentist. Brushing is the best way to remove the bacteria, so it doesn’t attack your tooth enamel.
When you brush, make sure you brush each quadrant of your mouth for a minimum of 30 seconds, which means it should take at least two full minutes to brush your teeth. In your mouth, a quadrant is defined as:
- 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
As long as you brush each quadrant for at least 30 seconds, it doesn’t matter the order in which you brush.
Use gentle pressure when you brush. Firm pressure can damage your tooth enamel. Instead, use a circular motion with a back-and-forth stroke for the best results.
In addition to brushing enough, you need to use the correct toothbrush. Make sure that all your dental products carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance, so you know you’re getting a quality product. Unless your dentist or periodontist instructs you otherwise, your toothbrush should have soft bristles of uneven length and should be sized properly for your mouth. Some adults need a child-sized toothbrush, and some children need an adult-sized toothbrush. Buy the one that’s sized appropriately for your mouth regardless of the label.
Replace your toothbrush every three months or, if you’ve been sick, right after you’re well. Otherwise, you risk reinfection. If the bristles become frayed or splayed, replace your toothbrush. Remember to brush with gentle, circular motions and gently move your toothbrush back and forth across your teeth. The uneven bristles enable the longer bristles to reach between your teeth in a similar manner to flossing while not applying too much force to the surface enamel of your teeth. Although it doesn’t matter whether you opt for a manual toothbrush or an electric one, your dentist or periodontist can make a recommendation.
Be sure to brush your tongue. Although most people don’t, brushing your tongue can remove additional bacteria that can be hiding on your tongue’s rough surface. If you have questions about how to brush your tongue, ask your dentist or periodontist.
Whether you prefer the gel form or the paste form, the toothpaste you use should carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Most brands of toothpaste are now fluoridated, so be sure that yours is also. Since most municipalities now fluoridate their water supply, many people are concerned that they may be getting too much fluoride. This usually isn’t an issue because city water is fluoridated only to the minimum standards for health, but if you’re concerned, ask your dentist.
According to the ADA, you should floss at least once each day, preferably just before bedtime, and don’t consume anything but plain water after you brush and floss for the night. Otherwise, bacteria and food particles can lodge between your teeth, and you’ll start to get cavities and gum disease. However, if you can floss after each meal or snack, you’ll dramatically improve your oral hygiene.
The type of floss you use isn’t important, but it should carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Some people prefer traditional dental floss, others prefer floss picks, while others prefer a water flosser. The type doesn’t matter as long as you floss daily at a minimum. If you have questions or need a recommendation, ask your Alpharetta dentist or periodontist.
Mouthwash can be the icing on the cake for your oral care regimen. As long as it carries the ADA Seal of Acceptance, it doesn’t matter the specifics, such as the flavor or whether it’s alcohol-free. Antibacterial mouthwash can eliminate any hidden bacteria that may be lurking in your mouth, and it ensures that you have fresh breath as well!
Other Helpful Specifics
Rather than snacking on calorie-dense, nutritionally empty snacks like candy, cake, and cookies, consider snacking on fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Their crunchy texture will help cleanse your mouth, and your waistline may also benefit! In addition, drinking plain water rather than sugary sodas is an excellent way to benefit both your body and your mouth.
If you spend a lot of time traveling, you might consider travel-sized versions of your favorite oral health products. They can make good oral hygiene simple no matter where you are, and most brands are available in travel-sized versions.
If you can’t brush and floss after eating, then rinse your mouth well with plain water. That will remove most of the bacteria in your mouth and freshen your breath.
No matter the quality of your dental hygiene routine, there’s probably room for improvement, such as regular dental exams and teeth cleanings. At a minimum, you should have an annual dental exam and cleaning, but twice a year is better. Many diseases, such as oral cancer, present asymptomatically, so you could have them without knowing they’re there.
We recommend that all our patients get screened for oral cancer because it’s the fastest spreading cancer and now accounts for more than three percent of all new cancer cases, and most people don’t know that it’s invaded their bodies.
Trust Your Periodontist!
While cancer can be serious and scary, so can gum disease! It’s vital to your dental health and gums that you meet with your periodontist. If you need an annual exam, then call North Point Periodontics at (678) 951-8356 to schedule an appointment. We’re among the best in the area, and we’re sure you’ll be happy with the dental care you receive.
Call us today. We look forward to speaking with you.