Cavities are preventable and good oral hygiene is the most important factor in keeping your teeth healthy. Brushing your teeth is the cornerstone of any oral hygiene routine. Brushing twice daily, usually in the morning and at night, with a soft bristled brush will help keep your teeth and gums healthy. There are many toothbrushes to chose from. When chosing you want to pick one whose size and shape fits your mouth and allows you access to all areas of the mouth easily. Making sure your toothbrush is not frayed is important, too. You should get a new tooth brush about every 3-4 months or sooner if the toothbrush starts to show signs of wear. A good way to remember this is to be sure that you are replacing the toothbrush at least once between dental visits and not just at your 6 month check-up. Also, using an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste will make your brushing more effective. Sometimes your dentist will recommend a prescription fluoride toothpaste if you have many watches or cavities to help prevent you from getting any more. It does not matter if you chose to use an electric or manual toothbrush as long as you are brushing for two minutes, twice a day, every day! I do recommend an electric toothbrush because the timer does help you make sure you are brushing for the full two minutes. My personal favorite type of electric toothbrush and the one I use is the sonicare. We do sell the sonicares in our Westerville, OH dental office for $55. They can also be found inexpensively at Costco but you have to buy two!
Flossing is also an important aspect of your oral hygiene. Flossing once a day will help remove plaque from betwen the teeth which is an area that the toothbrush cannot reach. Flossing can be done with traditional floss or the newer floss holders. Sometimes proxy brushes, small brushes used to get between larger spaces between the teeth, can be used to help remove this plaque also. If this plaque is left between the teeth, it hardens and can turn into calculus which can only be removed by a professional cleaning. Also, this calculus creates a breeding ground for bacteria and can contribute to gum disease.
If you have any questions about your oral hygiene routine or recommended techniques, we would love to see you at our Westerville, OH dental office or cal us at 614-882-2249. We are looking forward to making more mouths healthy!