How preventive dentistry keeps your teeth clean
Preventive dentistry refers to the practices that we employ on a day-to-day basis to take care of our teeth and gums. This means reducing the chance of needing dental surgery for future teeth problems, and ensuring your smile is kept in the best condition possible. There are 365 days in a year and many of you only see us on two of them, so it’s important that on every other day you are taking care of your teeth just as we do when you’re in the dental chair.
With that in mind, here are some of the things that you could be doing every day to protect your teeth. Although many of you will be are aware of most of them, have a read and see if you can pick up a piece of knowledge you didn’t have before!
Daily habits to protect your smile
Brushing twice a day for two minutes is the most important factor – it’s why you probably hear this a lot! Make sure you brush all surfaces of your teeth including your back molars or wisdom teeth, using short, back-and-forth strokes and trying not to brush aggressively. Everyone should be using a soft toothbrush as this avoids abrasive damage to the gums – an electric toothbrush is the best way to keep your teeth clean and also provides a way of keeping track of the time spent brushing, as most will include a timer indicator.
Other things that you can do to minimise bacteria include:
- Using fluoride toothpaste.
- Brushing your tongue.
- Replacing your toothbrush every few months.
When it comes to flossing, more important than doing it at the perfect time is just making sure that it gets done. Keeping the floss taut against your enamel so it can remove as much bacteria and plaque as possible is important, as is using a fresh section of floss. Brushing and flossing work together to minimise the risk of gum disease or inflamed gums, so try not to neglect either of them.
How your diet affects your teeth
If you’re one of the many people who are drinking soft drinks, juices, sports or energy drinks, or coffee throughout the day instead of water, now is the time to change! These drinks coat your mouth with sugar, which will quickly increase the levels of bacteria and acid in your mouth which leads to tooth decay. Water is better fluid to drink as it cleans your mouth with every sip – and it’s more healthy for your body overall!
Ensuring you have a healthy calcium intake is also essential for preventing the chance of teeth problems, as calcium keeps your teeth strong and healthy. If you’re not eating foods with dairy products, then take a look into how leafy greens could provide the calcium you need to keep your teeth strong.
Another important thing to do is to limit - or avoid - eating chewy, sugary snacks, as these easily get into the grooves of your teeth and allow bacteria to proliferate and wear down your enamel. Try to choose snacks such as apples or raw vegetables that will benefit your teeth and won’t hurt them.
Visiting us regularly for a dental checkup and cleaning
To complement the work you do cleaning your teeth and with your diet, a regular visit to the dental hygienist will help to remove plaque and tartar that gets stuck in hard-to-clean areas of your mouth. As an added benefit, your smile will shine extra bright after a professional clean!
A dental checkup - where one of our dentists comprehensively examines your mouth for all dental and oral issues - is the final step in good preventive dentistry. These should occur twice a year so we can stay on top of any issues and ensure there are no issues that may negatively impact your teeth. Think of it like a WOF for your mouth!
If you’re looking to visit the most trusted dentist Lower Hutt has to offer, Naenae Dental Clinic is home to five dentists with decades of combined dental experience, along with specialist hygienists and dental nurses who all have the same goal: to keep your teeth in the best condition possible!
Get in contact with our team today to book your first checkup!