Everyone, since childhood, has been told by both their parents and dentists that brushing and flossing are essential oral hygiene habits. Not only do they stave off gum disease and tooth decay, these practices will ensure you a healthy and vibrant smile for years to come.
Neglecting proper dental hygiene can have numerous deleterious effects on your teeth and gums. Brushing and flossing both remove sticky plaque, a film of bacteria known to cause both decay and gum disease.
The Danger of Plaque
Many foods that you consume, including sugary items, breads, and cereals, release acids that can eat away at the teeth leading to eventual decay.
Plaque can similarly cause the gums to become irritated, leading to swelling, redness, and even bleeding. If left untreated, the gums can start to separate from the teeth, forming pockets which fill with pus and bacteria. Plaque can have some very serious consequences, including eventual tooth decay caused by deterioration of the bone.
Along with brushing and flossing, eating healthy foods such as raw vegetables and fruits can help to reduce acid and plaque buildup.
Daily Dental Hygiene Habits
The absolute best way to get rid of unwanted plaque is to brush after each meal and floss between the teeth at least once per day. Make sure that you choose a brush that can reach all areas of your mouth. Any toothpaste you use should contain fluoride which further protects against decay.
Using either interdental cleaners or floss between the teeth can remove food particles and plaque that your brush just can’t reach. A combination of healthy eating and these essential dental practices can significantly reduce your risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
Tips for Brushing
1. Place your brush against the gums at an angle of about 45-degrees.
2. Use short strokes to brush the outer, inner, and chewing tooth surfaces.
3. Brush your tongue as well to freshen breath and remove bacteria.
Tips for Flossing
1. Break off a piece of floss and wrap each end around your middle fingers.
2. Bring the floss between each tooth down to the gum line and curve the floss to each tooth to clean the surface.
3. Always move the floss gently so that you do not cut the gums and injure them.