Brushing and flossing keep your smile bright, but an effective oral hygiene routine also reduces the risk that you’ll wake up with a toothache one day. Our Green Bay, WI, dentist, Dr. John Fay of Fay Dental Care, explains how you can protect your smile.
Have you ever noticed that your teeth feel a little rough when you first wake up? While you sleep, plaque, a sticky bacterial film, builds up on your teeth. Although plaque continually forms on your teeth, it’s particularly noticeable if it’s been a while since you’ve brushed your teeth. Cleaning plaque from your teeth at regular intervals helps decrease the likelihood that you’ll develop a cavity in a tooth. The bacteria present in plaque mixes with sugars in foods to create an acid that’s so strong that it can eat through your tooth enamel and cause cavities.
If you don’t brush thoroughly, plaque can turn into a hard deposit called tartar. Unfortunately, the unsightly brown or gray coating on your teeth can’t be removed by brushing or flossing. In fact, it can only be dislodged during a dental cleaning in our Green Bay office. Tartar doesn’t just detract from your smile. The irritating substance is also a factor in gum disease.
Follow these oral hygiene tips
Fortunately, you can reduce the amount of plaque in your mouth by doing these seven things:
- Brush for at least two minutes every morning and night, making sure to brush both the fronts and backs of teeth thoroughly.
- Brush both sides of your tongue to prevent plaque from migrating from your tongue to your teeth.
- Use anti-bacterial or anti-cavity mouthwash that kills the bacteria in plaque.
- Floss daily to remove plaque and trapped food particles from the tight spaces between teeth.
- Avoid foods that contain sugar or carbohydrates that can be converted to sugars, such as cakes, sugary drinks, cookies, candy, potato chips, white bread and pasta, pretzels, and crackers.
- Choose healthy snacks that act as natural tooth cleaners, such as celery, carrots, and apples.
- Visit the dentist every six months for a checkup and dental cleaning.
Good oral hygiene can help you avoid tooth decay and gum disease. If it’s time for your next checkup and cleaning, call Green Bay, WI, dentist, Dr. Fay of Fay Dental Care, at (920) 497-1566 to schedule an appointment.