A thorough oral health routine to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

At Allred Family Dentistry, we are here to ensure you have healthy teeth and gums by making sure you get your bi-annual dental evaluations. But how can you do your part to have a healthy mouth? To establish strong teeth and healthy gums, you should be following a thorough daily oral hygiene routine of brushing your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time, along with using mouthwash and flossing your teeth after you brush.

Below are reasons why a daily oral hygiene routine is so important to the health of your teeth and gums.

Get the bad bacteria out.

Your mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria, both good and bad. More than 700 types of bacteria can exist in your mouth, and it’s important to make sure you brush your teeth and floss properly to prevent those bacteria from making your mouth their home. It’s also important to brush your tongue during your oral hygiene routine, as bacteria likes to stick to any place warm and moist.

Don’t let plaque appear.

Did you know it takes as little as 24 hours for bacteria in your mouth to harden into plaque? And no one wants plaque on their teeth. Plaque forms when leftover particles of food mix with saliva. Plaque is a hard, sticky substance that can adhere to your teeth. If dental plaque isn’t brushed off, the plaque can cause tooth decay and gum disease, which, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. Foods with carbohydrates are bad for plaque formation because the carbohydrates break down into sugar, which encourages bacteria growth. Unfortunately, carbohydrates are found in many of the foods we eat, including fruits and vegetables. That is why dentists recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day, and encourage brushing after every meal.

Find the fluoride.

You may be wondering if there is a way to help build up the enamel, or outer layer, of your teeth. Fluoride is a mineral found naturally, and is helpful in building up enamel.

If you are looking to strengthen your teeth, look for a mouthwash and toothpaste that lists fluoride as one of its ingredients. One easy way to spot those types of products is by looking for the American Dental Association, or ADA, seal on your dental products. The ADA seal means certified dentists have found that those products will provide the proper care your mouth needs when used properly.

Clean between your teeth.

While it is very important to clean every surface of your teeth, don’t forget you also need r to clean between your teeth.

The best way to accomplish cleaning between your teeth is by flossing. Many dentists recommend using a dental floss made out of nylon. To start, take approximately 18 inches of dental floss and wind the floss around each of your middle fingers, leaving about an inch or two between your fingers to work with. Holding the dental floss taught, gently slide the floss up and down between your teeth, curving the floss gently around the base of each tooth in a C-shape. Make sure you go below the gum line to remove any bacteria and plaque, but remember to be gentle as you don’t irritate your gums. Once you are done with one spot, gently slide the floss up and out from your teeth, rewind the dental floss to a new, clean section, then repeat the process until you have flossed between all of your teeth.

If flossing the traditional way is a struggle, consider using floss picks or a water flosser.

Flossing and cleaning between your teeth is very important because bacteria love to hide out at the gumline, and brushing your teeth alone won’t always brush away all of the bacteria. Remember, remaining bacteria can lead to plaque accumulation, which can then cause tooth decay and lead to cavities.

Don’t forget your checkups!

The second most important thing you can do as part of your oral health routine, other than daily brushing and flossing, is to visit the team at Allred Family Dentistry. We’re here to help you maintain your smile and help with all of your dental needs. If you haven’t seen us within the past six months, give us a call today to schedule your annual dental evaluation. We are conveniently located in Griffin, GA and Hampton, GA. Stop by today to see Dr. Marc Allred and Dr. Ben Allred!