Are You Keeping Good Oral Hygiene Habits?
If you practice consistently thorough oral hygiene habits, you're doing your teeth and gums a great service. If your brushing, flossing and diet should improve, your Woodland, CA, dentist can help. Dr. James Zimmerman and his staff teach their patients of all ages the right way care for their oral health at home. Combined with regular in-office cleanings and check-ups, your hard work will help your smile look good and function well for years.
You are what you eat
A tooth-friendly diet is foundational to vibrant oral health. Most everyone knows that sugary drinks and starchy foods cause cavities, but did you know they also contribute to gum disease? The American Academy of Periodontology says periodontal problems are the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the United States, and the big culprit is plaque and tartar formed from a poor diet.
What's the solution? Limit carbohydrates in all forms, and increase your intake of fibrous fruits and vegetables. Also, your teeth and gums benefit from calcium-rich dairy products and low-fat, high-protein meats, poultry and fish.
Finally, stay hydrated. Drinking several glasses of water every day washes your teeth and gums, increases saliva production and avoids dry mouth, a leading cause of bad breath and yes, tooth decay.
Brushing and flossing matter
No, the American Dental Association is not just trying to promote sales of toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss. Correct use of these simple tools removes harmful plaque and hard tartar. Both contain bacteria which secrete damaging acids.
Regarding brushing, use a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste at least two times daily. Place it at a 45-degree angle to your teeth, and gently brush back and forth, systematically working around your mouth. Be sure to clean deeply grooved chewing surfaces and the lingual surface (or tongue-side) of your teeth, too.
When you floss daily, pull a 12 to 18-inch strand from the dispenser and wind the ends around your forefingers. Pull the floss tight between your thumbs and insert the floss between your teeth. Move the floss up and down to remove any food residues missed by brushing. Be sure to rinse well with clear water.
Semi-annual check-ups and cleanings
They're part of good oral hygiene habits, too. Your Woodland dentist will inspect your mouth for cavities, gum disease and signs of oral cancer. He'll check your dental bite, jaw joint function and the condition of fillings, crowns and cosmetic enhancements such as porcelain veneers.
Finally, you'll receive a through cleaning and X-rays as needed. Your hygienist expertly scales your teeth and the gum line to remove hard deposits of tartar.
Find out more
If you'd like personalized tips on oral hygiene, please contact Dr. Zimmerman's office for a routine cleaning and exam appointment. We always leave time for our patients to ask questions and to give valuable information on how to keep smiles bright and strong. Call your dentist in Woodland, CA, today at (530) 661-1155.