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Thurm Dental Group
925 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood, NJ 08108

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Woman brushing her teeth.

Basic Dental Care in Collingswood

Woman brushing her teeth.

You need good dental health if you’re to have good physical health. A regular regimen of good oral hygiene practices can help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Your dentist is your best ally in preventing dental disease, so the following may help you formulate the best dental hygiene regimen for your needs.

What’s Meant by Good Dental Hygiene?

Your physical health is determined, in part, by your dental health. Good dental hygiene refers to keeping your teeth and gums in the best health possible through good daily habits. Brushing, flossing, using an antibacterial mouthwash, and regular dental checkups and teeth cleanings are all components of good daily oral hygiene habits. If the following aren’t components of your regular dental hygiene regimen, then consider adding them:

  • Brush at least twice every day, especially right before you go to bed. If your teeth start to feel fuzzy, they need to be brushed.
  • Floss at least once every day, especially just before retiring for the night.
  • Use a fluoridated toothpaste, either gel or paste.
  • Schedule dental checkups and cleanings at least once each year.
  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash at least once each day and swish it around for 30 seconds.
  • Buy only toothbrushes, toothpaste, and mouthwash that carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance, and be sure to use them!

The best products are only beneficial if you use them, so be sure to adhere to a good daily hygiene regimen.

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Other basic dental care tips include:

  • Don’t consume anything except clear water after you brush and floss at night.
  • In the morning, brush your teeth or use mouthwash for 30 seconds before eating or drinking anything. This will remove residual, harmful bacteria rather than transferring it to your stomach, where it would be digested and absorbed along with your food.
  • If you floss only once each day, then floss just before bedtime. This prevents food particles from lodging between your teeth and attacking and eroding your tooth enamel during the night. However, flossing more frequently during the day is better for your dental health.
  • It’s best if you can brush and floss throughout the day. If you can’t, though, rinse your mouth well with clear water. This will help deter the accumulation of bacteria and the formation of plaque.

Brushing Twice Each Day

After you eat or drink anything other than plain water, bacteria accumulate in your mouth. When not removed through brushing and flossing, it accumulates and begins to form plaque, which settles in the crevices between your teeth and your gums. Plaque is a very hard substance that can only be removed by a dentist. However, when you brush at least twice each day – ideally after eating a meal or snack – plaque formation doesn’t start, and you’re less likely to develop cavities, gum disease, or decay.

The Best Toothbrush

The type of toothbrush you use is less important than the frequency with which you use it. Some people prefer electric toothbrushes while others prefer the manual ones. A soft-bristled toothbrush with bristles of varying lengths is the best for reaching all areas of your teeth, but be sure it carries the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

When you brush, use gentle pressure in a circular pattern with a back-and-forth motion. Brush for a minimum of 30 seconds on each quadrant, meaning the upper and lower teeth on the left side and the upper and lower teeth on the right side. Some electric models will let you know when you’ve brushed for the minimum amount of time.

Brushing faster or using more pressure isn’t going to improve your results. It may, in fact, harm your teeth since too much pressure on your toothbrush can cause striations that damage your tooth enamel.

Change your toothbrush at least every three months. If you’ve been ill, change your toothbrush. Also, if the bristles start splaying or fraying, then change your toothbrush. Using a quality toothbrush that’s in good condition is an essential component of good oral hygiene.

Fluoride Toothpaste

Almost all toothpastes now contains fluoride, which is a naturally-occurring mineral that research indicates can strengthen tooth enamel and help prevent cavities. Although many municipalities also fluoridate their water supply, it’s usually done only to minimum standards, so it’s unlikely that you’ll get too much fluoride between water and your toothpaste. However, if you’re concerned about this issue, ask your Collingswood dentist for their recommendation.

Flossing Is Vital to Your Basic Dental Care Routine

Flossing is as integral to your good oral hygiene regimen as brushing, so be sure you floss at least once each day. Toothbrush bristles don’t always remove all the residual food particles that can become lodged between your teeth, but flossing will. Ideally, you should floss after each meal or snack. If that’s not possible, be sure to rinse with clear water instead.

It’s not important which type of flossing agent you use, whether it’s a water flosser, traditional floss, or floss picks. The important issue is that you floss, so be sure to floss at least once each day with the flossing device you prefer.

More Dental Care Basics

Mouthwash is always an excellent addition to your good oral hygiene routine. Use an antibacterial mouthwash that carries the ADA Seal of Acceptance and swish it around for at least 30 seconds.

Snacking on fruits and vegetables is an excellent method for improving your dental hygiene habits. Crunchy fruits and vegetables cleanse your mouth and they’re better for your physical health than sugar-laden snacks such as cookies, cake, and candy. Be sure to drink an ample amount of water rather than sugary drinks as well.

If you’re frequently on the go, you might want to invest in travel-sized versions of your favorite mouthwash, toothbrush, and toothpaste to use throughout the day. Otherwise, be sure to rinse your mouth well with plain water after each snack or meal.

How Do My Dental Habits Impact My Overall Health?

Research has linked poor oral health to severe physical ailments such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, heart attack, and more, so maintaining good oral health is vital to maintaining good physical health. Integral to your oral hygiene regimen are regular dental checkups and teeth cleanings. Your dentist can spot minor problems before they escalate, and sometimes only a professional can recognize the significance of an anomaly. So, don’t neglect your dental checkups. Ideally, you would have one every six months, but have an annual dental visit at the very least.

Since the incidence of oral cancer is rising dramatically, we recommend that everyone over the age of 18 get an oral cancer screening. Oral cancer is responsible for more than three percent of all new cancer cases, and those who smoke or drink are at an increased risk, so don’t ignore your oral cancer screening.

Your Collingswood Dentist Is Your Strongest Ally

Although life is hectic, it’s important to see your dentist at least once each year. Not only do you need to have a professional check your mouth, but you also need to have plaque removed before it can start to cause gingivitis, and you need to have your questions answered, such as, “Which is the best toothbrush and toothpaste for me?”

We’re one of the best in the Collingswood area for dental care, and we’d love to add you as one of our patients. If you need a dental appointment for a cleaning and exam, or for any other reason, call Thurm Dental Group at (856) 335-1775 and we can help you.

Call us today. You’ll be glad you did.

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Thurm Dental Group

925 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood, NJ 08108

(856) 335-1775