By Dow Dental
April 10, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

You want a bright, white smile and fresh breath. Yes, your teeth and gums really do shape the image you project to those around you. oral hygieneResearch from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry backs this up, and how you care for your teeth impacts how it looks and functions. Your Springfield, OR dentists, Dr. Douglas Dow and Dr. Coleman Dow, ask all their patients to practice careful oral hygiene for the healthiest smiles possible. Is your at-home routine what it needs to be?

Plaque and tartar

One is soft and sticky, and the other is hard. Both from food residues stuck between teeth and under the gums. When allowed to build up, these germ-filled biofilms lead to cavities and gum disease, the leading causes of tooth loss in the United States, says the American Academy of Periodontology. The Centers for Disease Control elaborates that half of all Americans lose at least one tooth by the ages of 20 to 64.

Fortunately, good oral hygiene habits--brushing, flossing, and a nutritious diet--greatly reduce plaque and tartar. Complemented by exams and hygienic cleanings at Dow Dental, your smile can look good and stay healthy for your entire life.

Oral hygiene standards

Actually, they're pretty simple. The American Dental Association, along with your Springfield dentists, says patients of all ages should brush their teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste (ages three and up) and a medium-sized soft brush. Angle the bristles at a 45-degree angle to tooth surfaces and proceed gently and systematically around the mouth, cleaning tongue-side and chewing surfaces, too. Don't forget to clean your tongue and other soft tissues, too.

Floss once a day. Again, gentleness and thoroughness are key. When using strand floss, wrap an 18-inch segment around opposing index fingers, and pull the floss taut between the thumbs. Insert the floss between two teeth and move the floss up and down. Proceed around the top and bottom teeth, flossing all interdental spaces, including smile gaps from missing teeth.

Regarding diet, avoid foods and beverages with a high sugar content. Limit starches, and increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. High protein meats, poultry, and fish provide necessary protein, and dairy products supply calcium for strong bones and teeth. Wash your healthy diet down with plenty of water to hydrate your mouth and increase beneficial saliva.

You'll see results

If you keep high standards for your oral hygiene, you'll enjoy a healthy, long-lasting smile that looks and feels great. Learn more when you come to Dow Dental in Springfield, OR for your routine check-up. If it's time for your appointment, make it by calling the office team at (541) 726-9644.