Several factors help prevent tooth decay.
Here at Stacey Dental, we pride ourselves on educating our patients on the importance of these things.
- Home care: proper brushing and flossing techniques
- Regular 6 month checkups: which may include x-rays
Dentists say that the minimum time you should spend on brushing your teeth is 2 minutes twice a day. Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle against your gum line. Gently brush from where the tooth and the gum meet to the chewing surface in short (about half-a- tooth wide) strokes. Brushing too hard can cause receding gums, tooth sensitivity and over time loose teeth.
Use the same method to brush all outside and inside surfaces of your teeth.
To clean the chewing surfaces of your teeth, use short sweeping strokes, tipping the bristles into the pits and crevices. To clean the inside surfaces of your top and bottom front teeth and gums, hold the brush almost vertical. With back and forth motions bring the front part of the brush over the teeth and gums.
Use a forward-sweeping motion: gently brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth to remove decay-causing bacteria. Use an egg timer or play a favorite song while brushing your teeth to get used to brushing for a full 2 minutes. Some electronic toothbrushes have timers that let you know when 2 minutes are up.
Flossing only takes a few minutes but is so beneficial to the health of your gums and teeth.
Use about 18 inches of floss, gently follow the curves of your teeth, be sure to clean beneath the gum line, front and back side of each tooth. Rotate the floss to a clean section between each tooth. Also avoid snapping the floss into the tender gum tissue.
Fluoride is known for its effectiveness in, protecting against tooth decay and cavities. Two-thirds of Americans have access to fluoridated public water. For those in rural areas, well-water can be tested and fluoride can be added into a daily routine through rinses, tablets and brush-on gels.
In addition to home care, regular 6 month visits to our office, allows our hygienists to remove plaque, calculus buildup and evaluate oral health. Our amazing staff of hygienists will identify contributing factors (smoking and chewing tobacco, crooked teeth, hormonal changes, stress, diet and other health conditions) for gum disease and make recommendations to guard against gum disease.
Sealants are another preventive tool. Sealing the chewing (occlusal) surface of new adult molars helps ward off decay and cavities.