In many ways, the health of the mouth mirrors the health of the body. Diseases in other parts of the body often cause symptoms we can observe in the mouth; likewise, oral maladies (like tooth loss) not only reduce an individual’s quality of life but may also lead to problems in other areas.
Keeping Up Your Oral Health +
In between visits, the best way to keep your teeth clean and free of disease, your gums pink and healthy, and your breath fresh, is a program of daily oral hygiene. Your regular routine should include the following:
To help prevent tooth decay, anti-cariogenic mouth rinses use an ingredient you're probably already familiar with: fluoride. This is often in the form of a .05% sodium fluoride solution.
Rinsing with an anti-bacterial solution has been shown to provide a greater reduction in plaque than brushing and flossing alone. As tools in the fight against gum disease (gingivitis) and tooth decay, anti-bacterial mouth rinses may be a good step toward improving your oral hygiene.
Brush your baby's first teeth gently with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush, using just a thin smear of fluoride toothpaste, at least once a day at bedtime.
At your child's regular, twice-yearly dental checkups and cleanings, topical fluoride can be applied to strengthen tooth enamel and make it more resistant to erosion and decay.
Make good dietary and behavioral choices. These include drinking plenty of water, avoiding highly acidic beverages, avoiding tobacco and alcohol, and regularly visiting the dental office for cleanings and exams.
Wind the piece of floss around the middle finger of both hands leaving a gap of around three or four inches. You will now be able to use different combinations of your thumbs and index fingers to correctly position the floss between your teeth for all areas of your mouth.
Today, most have a similar set of active ingredients, including:
In addition, some special kinds of toothpaste have additional ingredients for therapeutic purposes.
This specially designed toothbrush (sometimes called an interproximal brush or proxabrush) can be successfully utilized to clean the small gaps between teeth, as well as the gums and the areas around braces, wires, or other dental appliances.
Available to consumers for over 50 years, these devices (sometimes known as water jets or water picks) can also play a role in interdental hygiene.