What is basic dental care?
Basic dental care involves brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, seeing your dentist and/or dental hygienist for regular checkups and cleanings, and eating a mouth-healthy diet, which means foods high in whole grains, vegetables and fruits, and dairy products.
Are there ways to avoid dental problems?
- Keeping your teeth and gums healthy requires good nutrition and regular brushing and flossing.
- Brush your teeth twice a day-in the morning and before bed-and floss once a day. This removes plaque, which can lead to damaged teeth, gums, and surrounding bone.
- Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride, which helps prevent tooth decay and cavities. Ask your dentist if you need a mouthwash that contains fluoride or one with ingredients that fight plaque.
- Avoid foods that contain a lot of sugar. Sugar helps plaque grow.
- Avoid using tobacco products, which can cause gum disease and oral cancer. Exposure to tobacco smoke (secondhand smoke) also may cause gum disease as well as other health problems.
- Practice tongue cleaning. You can use a tongue cleaner or a soft-bristle toothbrush, stroking in a back-to-front direction.
- Tongue cleaning is particularly important for people who smoke or whose tongues are coated or deeply grooved.
- Schedule regular trips to the dentist based on how often you need exams and cleaning.