Did you know that June is National Oral Health Month in the U.S.? The American Dental Association (ADA) uses this time to remind us that mindful oral hygiene practices are important for overall oral health.
Preventative dental care is the most effective way to prevent tooth decay and other intra-oral problems from dulling your beautiful smile. We at Sierra Oaks Dental provide preventative care services like professional cleanings, examinations, fluoride treatments, and oral cancer screenings. Other forms of preventative care include a variety of at-home practices discussed later in the article.
Follow along to learn how to take charge of your oral health and own your smile!
Daily Oral Hygiene Practices to Do at Home
We encourage recurring dental cleanings and proper at-home dental care to ensure a healthy smile. A dentist-approved oral care routine involves brushing your teeth for at least 2 minutes twice daily. This helps prevent plaque from hardening and turning into nasty tartar buildup.
Additionally, the ADA recommends flossing before your final brush at night and rinsing with an approved mouthwash. This aids in removing bacteria, which reduces your risk of gum disease. Failure to floss causes bad bacteria to harden under the gum line, which increases your risk of tooth decay and various gum ailments.
What Dental Products Do I Need at Home?
When it comes to tools, you want to use a soft-bristled toothbrush. It can be manual, electric, or battery-powered depending on your preference. Furthermore, your toothpaste should be ADA approved and have a fluoride ratio of at least 1,000 parts per million.
Keep a flossing tool that fits between your teeth to remove the bacteria and food debris before brushing. Dental floss, an interdental brush, or an oral irrigator will do the trick. Be wary of dental sticks as your primary flossing tool. These lack flexibility and often leave behind bacteria and plaque in the hard-to-reach areas of your mouth.
When it comes to mouthwash, use only ADA-approved rinses. Before granting the seal of approval, the ADA runs these washes through in-depth clinical testing to prove their ability to prevent gingivitis and reduce plaque. Finishing your oral care routine with a quick rinse helps eliminate the remaining plaque and foul-smelling breath.
What to Expect During a Dental Cleaning and Exam
During a dental hygiene visit (prophylaxis), you meet with a registered dental hygienist to remove harmful dental plaque and tartar. To remedy heavy buildup, your hygienist will use an ultrasonic scaler to remove tartar, plaque, and food debris from under the gum line. Then your hygienist checks your gums for problems like gum recession and disease.
At the end of your cleaning, the hygienist polishes your teeth and applies fluoride varnish to safeguard your pearly whites. You may opt-out of the fluoride varnish as you wish; let your hygienist know before the exam begins.
Book Your Next Visit at Sierra Oaks Dental
The primary benefits of a daily routine are fresh breath, gorgeous teeth, and radiant confidence. Following standard oral hygiene practices, using dentist-recommended products, and regularly visiting your dentist is essential for maintaining a beautiful smile you love.
To schedule your next dental cleaning or treatment, give us a call today. We are here to help you keep your smile bright with regular dental cleanings, exams, and treatments here in Sacramento, California.