Brushing and flossing may seem like very minor parts in your day, but don’t underestimate the power these two habits have for your oral health.
Of course, brushing and flossing do help to keep your teeth looking attractive, free and clear of food debris and stains. But good oral hygiene habits also help to hold bacteria in check, reducing the risk of negative outcomes like gum disease and cavities.
It’s essential to use proper technique when brushing and flossing in order to gain the maximum benefit from these activities. Your dentist can give you a refresher on this if need be. At minimum, you should be flossing daily and brushing twice a day, for two minutes each time. You should be angling the brush against your gum line to remove the plaque from this area. You may want to consider an electric toothbrush, which can be more effective at clearing away plaque.
Despite the importance of brushing and flossing, you must still get adequate care from your dentist every six months or so to maintain good oral health. These routine checkups usually will involve teeth cleaning and an exam to identify any potential problems as early as possible, so that they can be easily addressed.
When you get a professional teeth cleaning, the hygienist can remove any plaque and bacteria that are hanging around even after your best brushing and flossing efforts. The hygienist’s specialized instruments help to achieve this goal, and it’s easier for the hygienist to get at the areas of your mouth that are hard for you to reach.
Additionally, when a dentist examines your teeth twice a year, it doesn’t allow much time for oral diseases to develop and get out of hand. If a cavity only has six months to grow, for example, it’s unlikely to be as large as one that is allowed to progress for a year or more.
Your home oral hygiene routine, including proper brushing and flossing, is an important day-to-day task, and professional care, including cleanings and exams, is another critical element of protecting your oral health.
Contact the office of Dr. Barry Buchanan to learn more about the benefits of brushing and flossing your teeth daily.