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Posted on: July 11, 2022
Basic Dental Care in South Bend
A healthy mouth is essential for a healthy body, so no matter how many hours you spend keeping fit and healthy, you need to add good dental hygiene to the routine. Everything that goes into your mouth is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and carried to your major organs, so removing substances that can harm your body is essential. If you already have a good oral hygiene regimen, that’s great, but the following information may help your good habits become great habits.
Where Does Basic Dental Care Start?
Basic dental care starts with your morning routine at home. When you get out of bed, use mouthwash or brush your teeth before consuming anything. That way, bacteria that’s accumulated overnight won’t be carried to your stomach and then to the rest of your body. The American Dental Association recommends the following minimum dental care routine:
- Brush at least twice daily, morning and night
- Use fluoride-containing toothpaste
- Floss at least once daily, just before bedtime
- Have an annual checkup and teeth cleaning from your dentist
The above minimum routine will keep your teeth and mouth healthy, but by adding the following techniques, you can make your minimum routine the best it can be.
Click here to schedule a dental exam and teeth cleaning.
Brushing Twice Daily
Ideally, you should brush after every meal or snack. However, that’s not always feasible. If it isn’t, rinse your mouth well with clear water until you can brush and floss.
When you brush, you should brush each quadrant for a minimum of 30 seconds to ensure the maximum removal of food particles and bacteria. It doesn’t matter which quadrant is brushed first or the order in which you brush, as long as you brush for at least 30 seconds. A quadrant is:
- The upper right side of your jaw
- The upper left side of your jaw
- The lower right side of your jaw
- The lower left side of your jaw
Brushing just before bedtime ensures that you’ve removed as many bacteria and food particles as possible, and they won’t have all night to form cavities and start the decay process.
Your toothbrush should carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance, as should all your dental products. Using the correct toothbrush is as important as brushing, and your toothbrush should have soft bristles of varying lengths unless your dentist recommends otherwise. This ensures that your teeth are optimally cleaned because the longer bristles reach between the teeth while the shorter bristles clean the surface of your teeth. Whether you use a manual or an electric toothbrush, the guidelines are the same.
Brush in a circular motion with gentle pressure and back-and-forth strokes to ensure you clean all surfaces of your teeth. Also, don’t forget to brush your tongue! The rough surface of your tongue can harbor a substantial amount of bacteria, and brushing your tongue will remove the bacteria and ensure you have the freshest breath possible.
Make sure that you always use gentle pressure. If you use firm pressure, you can cause striations in your tooth enamel, which will damage your teeth. Also, brushing too fast can cause the process to be less effective, so brush slowly and gently.
Change your toothbrush every three months, but if you’ve been sick, change it immediately when you recuperate. Otherwise, you’ll keep reinfecting yourself. If the bristles start to splay or fray, then change your toothbrush. Three months is the maximum lifespan for your toothbrush. You can change it more often.
Toothpaste is available as gel or paste, and your choice is a strictly personal preference. As long as your toothpaste carries the ADA Seal of Acceptance, it doesn’t matter whether you use gel or paste.
Most toothpastes now contains fluoride, which is a naturally-occurring mineral that strengthens tooth enamel and deters the formation of cavities. Since many municipalities now fluoridate their water supply, some people are concerned that they may be absorbing too much of the mineral in their bodies. This isn’t usually the case, but if you’re concerned, ask your dentist. City water supplies are usually fluoridated to the minimum level required for effectiveness, so you shouldn’t be concerned, but your dentist can always answer your questions.
Flossing is also important to your good oral hygiene. Dental floss can reach between the teeth and get food particles that are lodged between the teeth and gums. It doesn’t matter the type of floss you use. They’re equally effective. Some people prefer dental picks because they’re easy to use. Some people prefer traditional dental floss. Other people prefer water flossers.
Your choice of floss is strictly personal preference, but if you have questions, ask your dentist for recommendations. The dental picks are the most portable and easiest to add to your portable dental care hygiene kit. Additionally, it does not matter whether you floss first and then brush, or brush first and then floss. As long as you do both, the order is strictly a matter of personal preference. Again, if you need guidance, then ask your dentist.
Mouthwash should be an integral component of your dental hygiene routine. The flavor choice doesn’t matter, nor does it matter whether it’s regular mouthwash or the alcohol-free variety, as long as it carries the ADA Seal of Approval.
Mouthwash can remove the residual bacteria that brushing and flossing missed. It can also be a good substitute for when you cannot brush and floss.
What Else Can I Do?
For even better dental health as well as better overall health, consider snacking on nuts, fruits, and vegetables rather than calorie-laden, sugar-laden cookies, cake, and candy. The crunchy texture will help remove bacteria and food particles, and your waistline may benefit as well.
If you’re frequently on the go, consider assembling a travel kit that includes travel-sized versions of your favorite toothpaste, toothbrush, and mouthwash so that you can maintain good oral hygiene no matter where you are.
If you smoke, vape, or use tobacco in any form, then quit. This is one of the best things you can do for both your body and your mouth. It will also reduce the likelihood of developing cancer.
Does My South Bend Dentist Offer Basic Dental Care Services?
Our South Bend office provides all basic dental care services as well as most other dental procedures. If you haven’t had a dental exam or teeth cleaning in a while, this is a good time to get one. We screen all new patients for oral cancer because it’s spreading rapidly. Oral cancer now accounts for three percent of all new cancer cases, and the incidence is higher if you smoke or drink. Since it presents asymptomatically, you may have oral cancer but be unaware of its presence.
We’re Ready to See You!
No matter the type of dental care you need, we can help you, so call The Dental Center of Indiana at to schedule an appointment or for more information. If you have questions, we’ll be happy to answer them.
Contact us today. We look forward to speaking with you.