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Maintaining Good Dental Care Habits

Taking care of your teeth at home can help you keep your teeth healthy and prevent periodontal or gum disease.Richard H. Price, DMD, spokesperson for the American Dental Association and a former clinical instructor at the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, ordinary family care should include daily brushing and flossing. "My advice would be to brush it at least twice a day, once in the morning and again before going to bed at night," Dr. Price said. Be sure to floss at least once a day. I do this after every meal. "Proper dental care at home, plus regular dental visits, is a good dental health ticket," says price. Price has retired from a 35-year private dental clinic in Newton, mass.

Healthy teeth at home

"Using products with the ADA (American dental association) seal," Price said. "This means that products -- toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, etc. -- can be safely used and can maintain oral health - no gum disease, no tooth decay."

Here are some basic principles:

Brush your teeth at least three minutes a day. If you have to make sure you have enough time on your oral care, use a timer.
Use floss to clean your teeth at least once a day.
Buy Ada approved dental cleaning tools and toothpaste.
"Basically, brush and floss, done right," price said.

Routine home care is aimed at combating the buildup of plaque around the teeth and gums and fighting bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease. The price explains that adults who ignore their teeth and build plaque often develop infections in fragile tissues around their teeth.

You can buy a set of dental supplies at the pharmacy to help you clean your teeth at home. These range from regular toothbrushes to electric toothbrushes, tooth cleaner (and so on), waxes and unwaxed floss, mouth washers and mouthwash. You should ask your dentist, and you might want to include these tools in your daily cleaning routine.

The consequences of poor oral hygiene

Poor oral hygiene can cause plaque buildup around your teeth and gums, leading to swollen gums.

"Plaque is a bacterial membrane that can cause cavities and gum disease if it is allowed to accumulate on the teeth and gums," price explained.
If you ignore your teeth at home and don't visit the dentist regularly, the buildup of plaque can lead to the empty space around your teeth. These Spaces eventually lead to the destruction of bones and other vulnerable tissues, leading to tooth loss.

The good news is that health care for your teeth and regular dental checkups can prevent plaque formation and even reverse early gum disease. "A water-free mouth is a healthy mouth," says price. In addition to regular dental checkups, "proper dental fillings and flossing are the only effective ways to prevent plaque formation."