Basic dental care involves brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, seeing your dentist and/or dental hygienist for regular checkups and cleanings, and eating a mouth-healthy diet, which means foods high in whole grains, vegetables and fruits, and dairy products.
Why is basic dental care important?
Practicing basic dental care:
Prevents tooth decay
Prevents gum (periodontal) disease, which can damage gum tissue and the bones that support teeth, and in the long term can lead to the loss of teeth
Shortens time with the dentist and dental hygienist, and makes the trip more pleasant
Saves money. By preventing tooth decay and gum disease, you can reduce the need for fillings and other costly procedures
Helps prevent bad breath. Brushing and flossing rid your mouth of the bacteria that cause bad breath
Helps keep teeth white by preventing staining from food, drinks, and tobacco.
Improves overall health
Makes it possible for your teeth to last a lifetime
Are there ways to avoid dental problems?
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy requires good nutrition and regular brushing and flossing.
Brush your teeth twice a day-in the morning and before bed-and floss once a day. This removes plaque, which can lead to damaged teeth, gums, and surrounding bone
Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride, which helps prevent tooth decay and cavities. Ask your dentist if you need a mouthwash that contains fluoride or one with ingredients that fight plaque. Look for toothpastes that have been approved by the American Dental Association
Avoid foods that contain a lot of sugar. Sugar helps plaque grow
Avoid using tobacco products, which can cause gum disease and oral cancer. Exposure to tobacco smoke (secondhand smoke) also may cause gum disease as well as other health problems
Practice tongue You can use a tongue cleaner or a soft-bristle toothbrush, stroking in a back-to-front direction. Tongue cleaning is particularly important for people who smoke or whose tongues are coated or deeply grooved
Schedule regular trips to the dentist based on how often you need exams and cleaning