Healthy teeth are considered to be clean and have no cavities. Healthy gums are pink and firm. To maintain healthy teeth and gums it is recommended that we all brush at least twice a day, in addition to flossing at least once a day. To keep healthy teeth it is good to have a healthy diet, also to avoid sweets, and to not smoke.

Even with healthy habits, it is still very important to go to your regular dental check-ups: to have a professional cleaning done, have check-up x-rays taken, in addition to having an exam by your dental provider.

When Flossing:

It is always good to keep in mind that dentist recommend you floss before you brush your teeth. Flossing removes plaque from between your teeth and gums.

When brushing:

It is recommended that adults as well as children brush their teeth at least twice a day, for about 2 minutes each time. It is also good to use fluoridated toothpaste; the fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel, in addition to helping prevent tooth decay. Dentists also recommend that you use a soft-bristled brush and that you replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months.

Things to know about tooth decay and gum disease:

Tooth decay and gum disease are caused by plaque, which is a sticky combination of bacteria and food. Plaque begins to build up on your teeth within 20 minutes after eating. If you don’t care for your teeth at least twice a day the plaque will build-up and eventually lead to tooth decay. If the plaque isn’t removed, it will then turn into hard deposits called tartar, which will become trapped at the base of the teeth, along the gum line. Plaque and tartar will then in turn cause the gums to become irritated and inflamed.

Plaque and tartar can lead to a number of issues:

• Cavities, which are holes that damage the tooth structure
• Gingivitis, which are swollen, inflamed, and bleeding gums
• Periodontitis, is the destruction of the ligaments and bone that support the teeth, often leading to tooth loss
• Bad breath
• Abscesses, pain, inability to use teeth
• In addition to other health problems outside the mouth, from preterm labor to heart disease

So continue to keep up the great brushing, flossing, in addition to coming to your recommended professional cleaning’s!