Anyone that has been to the dentist has heard the infamous spiel regarding the importance of both brushing and flossing your teeth daily. Although any maintenance of your teeth is better than no maintenance at all, there are key factors in the maintenance of the teeth that will ensure the best outcome.
Reason for Brushing and Flossing
Every day your teeth will build up plaque as the residue from your food sits on them. Plaque causes tooth decay, as it is full of bacteria that will break down the tooth. Brushing will help to rid of the mouth of the plaque on the teeth and flossing will rid the mouth of the plaque in between the teeth. Plaque build up will eat away at the enamel of the tooth, cause redness and irritation on the gums and if not taken care of, will eventually cause periodontal disease and the loss of teeth in later years.
Best Practices for Brushing and Flossing
Dentists recommend brushing your teeth twice a day. Although it could be easy for one to think that using a hard bristled brush will clean the teeth the best, it’s actually much harder on the gums surrounding the teeth and not recommended. A soft-bristled brush is the best toothbrush to use while cleaning your teeth.
Flossing is a essential part of maintaining the health of your teeth as well. It catches the areas that are hard to reach and should be performed once a day. Lack of flossing is a leading cause of periodontal disease thus it shouldn’t be ignored.
Mouthwashes are helpful in killing bacteria in the mouth and in the prevention of gingivitis. However, in most cases flossing and brushing are enough and should never be replaced by mouthwash alone.
Professional cleaning appointments should also be scheduled at least twice a year in order to clear the mouth of build up that is missed by brushing and flossing.
For those that have dental implants it is critical that they follow the instructions provided by their dentist and stay up to date on all professional cleaning appointments as well.