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Couple brushing their teeth

Basic Dental Care in Peoria

Couple brushing their teeth

A long, healthy life begins with good dental care. Although most people don’t consider their oral health vital to their physical health, research has shown that the two are inextricably linked. Those who have good oral health have a lower rate of serious disease. In contrast, those who have poor oral health have a higher incidence of serious diseases such as dementia, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and more. 

So, if it’s been a while since you’ve had a dental exam and teeth cleaning, click here to schedule an appointment.

What Are the Components of Basic Dental Care?

Good oral health starts with basic dental care that keeps your mouth as free as possible from bacteria and gum disease. According to the American Dental Association, you should follow these basic activities at a minimum to maintain good dental health:

  • Brush at least twice each day and one time should be just before going to bed
  • Floss at least once each day, preferably just before going to bed
  • Use toothpaste with fluoride
  • Get an annual dental exam and cleaning at the minimum

Of course, these guidelines are the minimum you should use. For better dental health, brush and floss more frequently throughout the day, and see your dentist twice each year.

Is Brushing at Least Twice Daily That Helpful?

After you eat anything, food particles lodge in the crevices between your teeth and gums, and bacteria are rife throughout your mouth. When not removed by brushing and flossing, the food particles combine with the bacteria to form plaque, which causes inflammation and gum disease. In addition, the bacterial acids begin to attack your tooth enamel, which causes decay and cavities. When plaque and bacteria are removed through brushing and flossing, your mouth is healthier because it’s free of substances that cause inflammation and decay. So, yes, brushing at least twice daily benefits your teeth.

Ideally, you should brush and floss after each meal and snack. However, this isn’t always possible, so you can rinse your mouth well with plain water if that’s the case, and resume your oral hygiene when it’s convenient.

When you brush, use a soft-bristled toothbrush with bristles of uneven lengths to cover the most surface area of your teeth. Use gentle pressure in a circular motion, with a back-and-forth stroke to reach all the food particles between your teeth and the bacteria on your gums and teeth. Brush each section of your mouth for at least 30 seconds. The sections are:

  • The upper right side of your jaw
  • The lower right side of your jaw
  • The upper left side of your jaw
  • The lower left side of your jaw

The order in which you brush doesn’t matter as long as you spend a full two minutes brushing. Don’t forget to brush your tongue. Although many people don’t, the rough surface of your tongue can harbor lots of bacteria. Brushing your tongue can remove them. If you’re unsure how to do this, ask your Peoria dentist for help.

Replace your toothbrush every three months. If you’ve been ill, replace it as soon as you recover. If the bristles start to deteriorate, replace your toothbrush. Also, make sure your toothbrush is correctly sized for your mouth. The bristles should be soft and of uneven lengths, and the toothbrush should fit your mouth, so choose the correct size. Not all adults need larger toothbrushes, and not all children need smaller ones. Get the appropriate size for your mouth.

Whether it’s a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, or mouthwash, be sure that all your dental products carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance, so you know you’re getting a safe, high-quality product.

Should My Toothpaste Contain Fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral which helps to strengthen tooth enamel and help to fight cavities. It began to be part of toothpaste in the 1950’s. Most water supplies are now fluoridated, so you may be concerned that you’ll get too much fluoride in your system. This isn’t usually an issue because water is fluoridated only to the minimum required for health, but if you have concerns, speak to your Peoria dentist. 

Should I Floss Every Day?

Flossing every day doesn’t take much time, and it’s one of the best preventative dental actions you can take. Whether you prefer a water flosser, traditional dental floss, or floss picks, flossing just before bedtime can remove food particles between your teeth and gums so that they don’t remain on your teeth overnight and start to cause inflammation and gum disease. Remember not to eat after you floss or you defeat the purpose of flossing.

Would More Tips for Basic Dental Care Be Helpful?

An antibacterial mouthwash is a great addition to your daily dental routine. It can remove residual bacteria as well as provide fresher breath. No matter how much you brush, floss, and rinse, bacteria can remain in your mouth. Mouthwash can remove them so that you have the best dental hygiene possible.

Your diet is another factor in your oral hygiene. Rather than snacking on empty calories like chips and cookies, consider snacking on fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Their crunchy texture will help remove food particles from your teeth, and their increased nutritional value will help your overall health and maybe your scale. Also, drink plain water rather than sugary sodas and energy drinks. Although it may be more boring, plain water has many health benefits because the human body is more than 50 percent water.

Would On-the-Go Tips Help?

If you’re on the road most of the time or spend lots of time in situations that aren’t conducive to brushing and flossing, consider assembling a travel kit of your favorite dental products in small containers so you can take your dental hygiene routine with you. If it’s absolutely not possible for you to use your normal hygiene routine, rinse your mouth well with plain water until it’s convenient to use your dental routine.

Do You Have Good Prevention Habits?

Your best dental prevention partner is your Peoria dentist, so make an appointment at least once each year for an exam and cleaning. Twice each year is better if that’s feasible. No matter the quality of your dental hygiene habits, diseases can sometimes attack, and you won’t know it until it’s too late. Oral cancer is a good example. Since oral cancer presents asymptomatically, you won’t know you have it until it has spread. Your dentist, however, can detect and stop it before it escalates. We recommend that all patients have an oral cancer screening when they have an exam. Oral cancer is the fastest spreading cancer, accounting for more than three percent of all new cancer cases, so call us to make an appointment.

Protect your teeth with a dental exam and cleaning. Click here to schedule your appointment. 

We Can Help You

Whether you need an appointment for an annual exam and cleaning, an oral cancer screening, or any other dental procedure, we can help you. We’re sure you’ll be very happy with your sparkling teeth and the service you receive from our compassionate and skilled team.

Click here to schedule your appointment today! We look forward to working with you.

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