Your life centers on routines: work, school, your kids’ soccer schedules. That same discipline must apply to your health, too, with proper nutrition, exercise and taking care of your oral health. The American Dental Association recommends daily flossing and twice daily brushing. The team at Mt. Holly Family Dentistry urges patients to brush their teeth in the morning and at bedtime, too. That nightly discipline really benefits your smile.
Prevention is Vital
It”s a dark, bacteria-laden place. Yes, that describes your mouth, complete with teeth, tongue, cheeks, hard palate, gums and other soft tissues. Your dentists in Mt. Holly, Dr. Goldberg, Govitrikar, and Cygler agree that at-home brushing and flossing, combined with in-office exams and cleanings every six months, keep smiles vibrant and strong.
Why? When you brush, floss and get your teeth professionally cleaned you remove the sticky plaque and hard tartar which cause tooth decay and gum disease. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research says if plaque mineralizes into tartar and stays on and in between teeth and at the gum line too long, decay and gum disease are inevitable. Unfortunately, so is tooth loss.
The Best Time to Brush
Most people brush their teeth after rising in the morning and may or may not brush after meals. In fact, nationalsmilemonth.org says one out of four adults do not do that second brushing.
However, evening, just before retiring, may be the most critical time to brush and floss. Frankly, food residues from dinner will stay on your teeth and gums if you don’t remove them, and that prolific oral bacteria will begin its corrosive and inflammatory work as you sleep.
Additionally, because our molars, tongues and gums are not smooth, plaque readily collects, giving off VSCs, or volatile sulfur compounds, the source of bad breath. Their characteristic rotten egg odor may be avoided by nightly oral hygiene practices.
Other Aspects of Preventive Dentistry
Your Mt. Holly dentists also recommend these habits as effective adjuncts to at-home brushing and flossing and in-office cleanings, X-rays and examinations:
- Drink eight eight-ounce glasses of water a day. Water washes food residues off teeth and gums. It also stimulates saliva production and avoids xerostomia, or dry mouth, a particular problem at night as we sleep. Many people keep a water bottle on their bedside table to take a refreshing drink if they wake up during the night.
- Eat several servings of fruits and fibrous vegetables daily to scrape teeth and gums clean and to exercise bone and facial muscles. Also, consume low-fat dairy (with tooth-friendly calcium), proteins and high-fiber grains instead of processed sugars and starchy breads.
- Wear an athletic mouthguard during sports and a night time guard if you grind your teeth.
It’s So Important
Leave enough time at the end of your busy day for brushing and flossing. You’ll reap the benefits of a healthy smile. Also, contact Mt. Holly Family Dentistry for your routine appointment today.