Dental Hygiene

Good dental hygiene isn’t something that happens overnight, and it’s a part of your health that needs constant maintenance. Your oral health is just as important as your general health, and it’s critical you treat it as such! Neglecting your oral health can cause an abundance of issues down the road such as cavities, tooth loss, and gum disease. But don’t you worry, our team at Willow Springs Dental has your back, so we put together a list of tips to help you achieve and maintain the best dental hygiene!

1.) Brush your teeth properly twice a day.

Yes, that means no more skipping brushing your teeth before bed! It’s important to clean out all the residue that has built up in your mouth throughout the day! Not only should you brush twice a day, but it’s important to brush properly. Follow these tips from the American Dental Association to ensure you’re brushing your teeth correctly:

  • Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
  • Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
  • Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
  • To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
  • Repeat twice daily for two minutes each time.

2.) Use a toothpaste with fluoride.

Fluoride helps your teeth become more resistant to tooth decay by strengthening your tooth enamel. It also helps prevent cavities! If you visit the American Dental Association website, you will find a list of ADA-accepted fluoride toothpastes to choose from so you know you’re picking the best!

3.) Don’t forget about your tongue!

We often see patients come in that neglect their tongue when taking care of their dental health, but cleaning your tongue is equally as important as cleaning your teeth! We suggest brushing or scraping your tongue each time your brush your teeth. This will help remove bacteria that has settled on the surface of your tongue throughout the day. If you don’t properly clean your tongue, the bacteria can build up in the crevices of your tongue, and over time it contributes to tooth decay and bad breath.

4.) Floss!

And we mean daily, not just when you pay our office a visit! It’s suggested that you floss once a day to maintain good oral hygiene. Everyone knows flossing helps prevent both cavities and gum disease, but it also helps remove plaque. According to the American Dental Association, plaque contains bacteria that feeds on leftover food or sugar in your mouth, and when that happens, it releases an acid that can eat away at the outer shell of your teeth and cause cavities. If you don’t remove plaque by brushing and flossing, it can eventually harden into a rough substance called tartar which collects along your gum line and can lead to gum disease. And once tartar forms, only your dentist can remove it (ADA, 2023). We know you don’t want to have to visit the dentist anymore than you already do, so do yourself a favor and take preventative measures like daily flossing!

5.) Don’t forget to rinse with mouthwash!

There are two types of mouthwash, cosmetic and therapeutic. Be sure that at the very least, you are using a therapeutic mouthwash as they help reduce and control a variety of areas that contribute to your dental hygiene; plaque, gingivitis, bad breath and tooth decay. When choosing a mouthwash, make sure you pick one that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance, as this shows the company has provided data demonstrating that a product is safe and effective for the purpose claimed (ADA, 2023). Mouthwash is able to reach places in our mouth that floss and toothbrushes otherwise can’t, so be sure to add it to your dental hygiene routine if you haven’t already. And remember, mouthwash should be an addition to your routine, it doesn’t replace brushing or flossing!

6.) Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate.

The importance of drinking water is often overlooked when thinking about oral hygiene, but in fact, it is a critical contributor to good oral health. When you drink water, it helps rinse sugars left on the surface of your teeth from juice and pop, and it washes away food build up and residue in between teeth brushing sessions. Drinking water also helps combat dry mouth which can lead to issues such as gum disease, thrush, tooth decay, and mouth sores.

7.) Replace your toothbrush regularly.

The American Dental Association recommends you replace your toothbrush every three to four months. If the bristles are frayed, they suggest you replace your toothbrush sooner, as a worn toothbrush is not as effective in cleaning your teeth.

8.) Clean your toothbrush holder.

Think about all the germs that accumulate in your bathroom. Now do you really want all that building up on the thing that holds your toothbrush…that you put in your mouth…to clean it?! Absolutely not. According to the National Sanitation Foundation, toothbrush holders are the third ‘germiest’ item in the average household. So be sure to wash and disinfect your toothbrush holder at least once a week. And may we suggest twice a week just to be extra careful…

9.) Visit your dentist every six months.

If you want to maintain good oral hygiene, don’t skip out on your dental checkup appointments! We refer to this as preventative dentistry, because visiting us on a regular basis lowers your risk for developing dental problems such as gum disease or tooth decay and allows for early identification and diagnosis if and when there are any issues. Common preventative dentistry services we provide are oral exams, teeth cleaning, and routine x-rays. Visiting your dentist twice a year will only help improve your oral hygiene and prevent you from having to deal with future dental health issues.

Willow Springs Dental – Your Las Vegas Dentist

At Willow Springs Dental, we’re passionate about what we do. Our patient’s oral health and happiness is our top priority. Our facility, conveniently located in southwest Las Vegas near Summerlin, is 5000 square feet of luxurious comfort featuring state-of-the-art equipment and cutting-edge procedures to make your dental experience the best possible and amazingly affordable at the same time! Call us to schedule an appointment today and let us help you achieve the smile you deserve!