Statistics for tooth health aren’t promising: 92% of adults between 20 and 64 have had dental caries, and 26% have untreated tooth decay. Are the high rates of tooth decay due to diet? Lack of education? Lack of commitment to get regular check-ups, or just insufficient insurance?
Very likely, high cavity rates can be explained by a combination of all of these reasons. While these are separate issues that need to be address in different ways, the question that comes up most frequently in our office is “What can I do?” Many people are realizing that prevention is the best medicine and that regularly practicing good dental hygiene can save them from the serious future trips–and thousands of dollars—later on. The following tips for healthy teeth have been approved by Penn Dental Family Practice.
Tip 1: Know the Dangerous Foods/Drinks, and Choose Wisely. People who consume fewer “dangerous foods/drinks” will have less staining and a healthier enamel. You can make a commitment today to tread carefully with these foods and drinks:
Tip 2. Know the correct brushing techniques. Two minutes is the recommended amount of time for brushing your teeth. One way to do this is to divide your mouth into four sections and devote 30 seconds to each. Pressure or rigorousness is not the measure of a quality brushing; in fact, pressing down too hard can wear away at enamel. Go soft, but be comprehensive. Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle and move it in quick up-down strokes. Hitting the hard-to-reach areas is key to removing the plaque where it’s most likely to build up.
Tip 3. Floss correctly. You only need to know a few things in order to maximize the impact of your flossing. One: the target is the white slimy stuff that comes off your teeth. It may seem like nothing compared to the big chunks of food you may also be pulling out, but it’s the real enemy. Your goal is to limit bacteria buildup and to do that, you have to get rid of what it’s feeding on: plaque. To do that, wind the floss around your index fingers on each hand for maximum control. Bring the floss down gently between each tooth, rubbing up and down against one side and then against the other. When you bring it out, wash it off or move your fingers down to another section of the floss in order to avoid re-dirtying your teeth with the plaque from other teeth.
How are you doing on these tips for healthy teeth? Remember that consistency and care will get you where you need to go. To learn about the services offered by Penn Dental Family Practice, please contact us by calling 215-898-7337 today.