Taking Care of Your Teeth and Gums
Below is a list of some of the questions we get asked most frequently from our patients regarding general dentistry and oral hygiene. If you have a question that isn't answered below, feel free to give our office a call at (519) 669-1526 and we'll be happy to assist you.
• How often should I visit the dentist?
You should visit the dentist at least twice a year. A dental exam can reveal early signs of decay and disease that you may not see or feel. Catching these conditions early can help control them before they get worse and harder to treat. Additionally, getting a cleaning by a trained professional will remove plaque in areas you may have missed or cannot reach.
• How often should I brush and floss my teeth?
You should brush at least twice a day, once in the morning and once before going to bed. You should floss once a day as well.
• What is the proper way to brush my teeth?
The following guidelines are important to brushing correctly.
1.Firstly, make sure to use a soft-bristled brush. Hard bristled brushes can wear down the enamel of your teeth.
2. Place your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gumline. Bristles should contact both the tooth surface and the gumline.
3. Use short back and forth strokes or tiny circular movements to brush your teeth. Each movement should be no bigger than the size of each tooth.
4. Make sure to use gentle strokes while brushing. Gentle strokes are effective in removing plaque, while too much pressure can wear down the enamel of your teeth.
5. Brush all surfaces of each tooth, including the outer, inner, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
6. Finally, don't cut your brushing short! Make sure to brush for at least 2 minutes.
• What is the proper way to floss?
The following guidelines are important to flossing correctly.
1. Take 18" of floss and wind it around the middle finger of each hand .You can use these fingers to take up floss as it becomes dirty. Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch the floss leaving 1-2 inches in between for cleaning.
2. Gently move the floss up and down the spaces of your teeth. Never snap the floss down onto your gums, as it can cause damage.
3. As you move the floss down into the space between two teeth, slide it up and down against the surface of one tooth. Gently clean at the gumline as well.
4. Repeat this process for all of your teeth.
• What is plaque?
Plaque is a sticky, clear film which forms every day on teeth from food debris and bacteria. If plaque is not removed, it can lead to gum disease and cavities. Regular dental check-ups, along with brushing and flossing every day, can help prevent plaque buildup on teeth. In addition, avoiding sugary snacks and eating a balanced diet can help control plaque.