How are your oral hygiene habits? If you're like most people, your oral hygiene routine could probably stand a little fine tuning. St. Louis, MO, dentists Dr. Joseph Zeigler and Dr. Nina Zeigler care for your family's teeth, helping you ensure that your smiles remain healthy and bright.
Regular brushing is the key to cavity prevention
Did you know that you can reverse damage to your tooth enamel before acids cause cavities? Brushing with toothpaste that contains fluoride remineralizes weak areas and may even stop cavities from occurring. As long as your toothpaste features the American Dental Association (ADA) seal, you can be assured that it contains fluoride.
Brushing with fluoride won't be very effective if you quickly pass the brush across your teeth. In fact, you'll need to spend at least 120 seconds to completely remove plaque, the substance responsible for tooth decay, from your teeth. Brushing at least twice a day is essential, as regular brushing reduces plaque buildup. Don't forget to make flossing a priority too. Cleaning the spaces between teeth prevents plaque from building up in those areas.
Good oral hygiene can help you avoid gum disease
Brushing and flossing is also a simple way to prevent gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Removing plaque regularly ensures that you never develop a deposit called tartar. If you've ever noticed a hard brown or gray substance on your teeth that can't be removed by brushing, you may have tartar. Tartar can irritate your sensitive gum tissue and cause gum disease. Fortunately, the disease can be avoided if you practice good oral hygiene and schedule regular cleanings in your St. Louis dentist's office.
Harder isn't better
Harder may be better if you're removing a stain from your clothing, but applying too much pressure with your toothbrush can erode your tooth enamel and cause receding gums. Gentle pressure is best when brushing your teeth and gums. You'll also want to use a soft bristle brush, as harder brushes can also damage your enamel or lead to receding gums.
Regular dental cleanings and exams are essential for good dental health. Call St. Louis, MO, dentists Drs. Joseph and Nina Zeigler at (314) 872-7590 to schedule your appointment.