Dental Hygiene

This week's Tip & Bits focuses on Dental Hygiene.

What is dental hygiene or oral hygiene?

It is the practice of keeping the mouth and teeth clean to prevent problems such as bad breath, cavities, gingivitis, and periodontal (gum) disease.

Why is cleaning your teeth important?

You need to remove dental plaque and tartar that builds upon the teeth, also to prevent tooth decay.  80% of cavities occur inside pits and fissures on chewing surfaces where brushing cannot reach food left behind.

How often should you brush your teeth?

It is recommended that you brush at least twice a day.

How often should you replace your toothbrush?

It is recommended that you replace your toothbrush every 3—4 months or sooner if the bristles are frayed.

Why should you use dental floss?

It helps to remove plaque and decaying food stuck between the teeth.  Food decay and plaque can irritate the gums allowing the gum tissue to bleed more easily.

When should you floss?

It is suggested that you floss before brushing to allow for the toothpaste to have better access between the teeth.

Should you brush your tongue?

The answer is yes.  Tongue cleaning removes the coating from your tongue that promotes bad breath as well as any bacteria and decaying food particles, also fungi, and dead cells.  By cleaning your tongue, you remove the species of bacteria that generate tooth decay and gum problems.

How often should you go for dental checkups and cleanings?

It is suggested that you go twice a year,   however, if you are in the high-risk group such as smokers, diabetics, people with current gum disease, people with a weak immune system, people who tend to get a lot of cavities, they may need to visit the dentist every 3 or 4 months.

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