Maintaining Good Dental Care Habits
Manhattan Good Dental Habits | Upper East Side Dentist Office
Oral health begins with the most basic of good habits - clean teeth through proper daily care. Your parents and our dentist were right all along; brushing your teeth two times a day, for at least two minutes each session, goes a long way toward keeping your mouth and smile healthy. Cavities can be averted by keeping tooth surfaces clean, while gum disease is prevented by keeping the area where teeth and gums meet clean.
The ADA – and our dentist – recommend that you utilize a soft-bristled tooth brush that fits your mouth properly. You should be able to reach every area of your mouth comfortably so as to leave no surface untouched. Electric or battery-operated toothbrushes may minimize plaque and gingivitis more so than brushing manually. Good technique includes holding the brush at a slight angle, with the bristles aimed at the base of the tooth and the gum line. Move the brush with short back-and-forth movements. No area of the mouth should be neglected, so be sure to clean all surfaces of the tooth, including the outside and inside surfaces. Brushing your tongue is also a key element to a clean mouth that is often overlooked.
In order to keep your brush in its most effective condition, rinse with water after every brushing and store upright as it air-dries. Closed containers can promote the growth of bacteria and should be avoided on a daily basis. A new toothbrush (or replacement head for an electronic brush) should be purchased when bristles become frayed or worn down, which is usually about every three to four months.
While brushing goes a long way towards good oral health, there are many areas of the mouth that are only reached by flossing. Tight spaces between the teeth and areas along the gum line can harbor bacteria and particles of food, making daily flossing important. Make sure you have a gentle touch, rubbing the floss against the teeth and not cutting towards the gum. You can also choose to use an inter-dental cleaner — such as a special wooden or plastic pick, stick or brush – to clean besides teeth as an alternative to conventional floss. Some people may also choose to utilize an oral irrigator — a device that targets a concentrated flow of water at the teeth. Take note, an oral irrigator doesn't replace daily brushing and flossing, since it will not remove plaque.
Finally, to avoid gum disease, cavities and other oral health problems, visit our cosmetic dentistry office regularly for cleanings and exams. Remember, early detection and treatment of problems with your gums, teeth and mouth will help guarantee a healthy mouth and smile for years to come. Dr. Lattinelli provides superior dental care to the Upper East side of Manhattan, as well as a full array of dental services to gain and maintain a beautiful smile!