Everyone should see a general dentist for routine oral health examinations, twice-yearly cleanings, and treatment of routine oral health complications, such as minor tooth decay.
Patients who visit a general dentist in can expect professional oral health care, as well as education and advisement about self-care between office visits.
HOW TO BRUSH YOUR TEETH
Brushing your teeth is probably a standard part of your daily routine, but chances are you aren’t following the American Dental Association’s guidelines for cleaning your teeth properly. The ADA currently recommends that you brush your teeth at minimum of two times each day preferably morning and night or anytime you eat foods that contain sugar. When you brush, your toothbrush should be tilted at a 45 degree angle to your gum line. As you brush, be sure to remove debris from every surface of the teeth including the backs of the teeth, near the gum line, and on chewing surfaces. It is also important to brush your tongue, as bacteria can accumulate there and cause malodorous breath.
HOW TO FLOSS YOUR TEETH
Flossing is an important part of an oral hygiene routine, but research suggests that fewer than half of Americans do so daily. Flossing is simple and only takes an extra couple of minutes per day. Developing a healthy habit of flossing can prevent tooth decay and gum disease, and it may allow you to keep more of your natural teeth as you age.
- Pull the floss taught and slide it between two teeth.
- Pull against the side of one tooth, creating a “C-shape” and sliding upwards to remove plaque build-up.
- Pull against the opposite tooth edge using the same technique.
- Repeat this process for each tooth until all inner surfaces have been flossed.
- Don’t forget to floss the backs of your molars!
DENTAL HEALTH AND YOUR DIET
Your body works hard to convert the foods you eat into energy. You may not think twice about what you are eating especially when it comes to grabbing an afternoon snack. But the food you put in your mouth affects more than just your waistline. The truth is, your diet has a direct effect on your overall dental health. Developing good eating habits can lead to excellent oral health free of decay and gum disease. The American Dental Association recommends avoiding certain foods that can expedite decay, such as foods high in sugar.
Having bad breath can be an embarrassing problem especially if you are regularly face to face with other people. Known professionally as halitosis, bad breath plagues many people every day. Most cases of bad breath can be remedied by efficiently brushing the teeth. However, some types of bad breath are chronic or recurring, which may warrant a visit to the dentist.
ELECTRIC BRUSH VS. MANUAL BRUSHES
Preventative dentistry is about more than just visiting your dentist twice yearly for an exam and thorough cleaning. In fact, the majority of your preventative care is done at home as a part of your normal hygienic routine. Many Miami-Dade residents use manual toothbrushes to remove debris and plaque from their teeth. However, electric brushes have become widely popular in recent years, leaving some to wonder whether one type is better than the other.
FLUORIDE AND DECAY PREVENTION
Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that has been shown to help strengthen teeth in children and also prevent decay in people of all ages. Topical fluoride in particular is helpful for promoting oral health. The American Dental Association has publicly endorsed the use of fluoride for the prevention of dental caries, as has the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association.