Most Dansville residents know that brushing is essential for cavity prevention, clean teeth, and fresh breath, but many are surprised to hear that plaque can harden in as little as 48 hours, forming what is commonly known as tartar (or calculus), which is nearly impossible to remove without the assistance of your hygienist or dentist.
Tartar can contain up to 1,000 bacterial species, which create what is called a biofilm. Many of the microorganisms present in your biofilm are neutral or harmless, but the dangerous bacteria are responsible for tooth decay and gum disease, two things you need to avoid if you want to keep your natural teeth! Knowing this, you probably want to confirm that your oral hygiene routine is in tip-top shape. Here is the routine experts follow and recommend:
- Brush a minimum of 2x per day for at least 2 minutes. Hold your soft-bristled toothbrush, manual or electric, at a 45-degree angle and brush gently in small circles along the gumline. To avoid acid erosion, it’s safer to brush about 30 minutes before eating—we know this seems counterintuitive, but swishing and spitting with water after you eat is safer for your enamel than brushing immediately after eating.
- Floss daily. Flossing before brushing can remove plaque and food debris that your toothbrush can’t reach on its own. If you can’t bring yourself to use the string, we highly recommend investing in a Waterpik®, which has been proven to work just as well.
- Rinse with mouthwash after brushing. This step isn’t required, but it can give your bacteria fighting a boost and make your breath minty fresh. Be sure to use an alcohol-free formula, as alcohol is drying and a dry mouth can render this routine ineffective.
- Be mindful when consuming. The foods and beverages you eat and drink can tip your pH balance to acidic or alkaline, and the former can do damage to our mouths and bodies.
- Schedule your twice-yearly exams and cleanings at A Smile By Design!