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Huntington Family Dental Group
534 Shelton Ave, Shelton, CT 06484

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Couple brushing their teeth

Basic Dental Care in Shelton

Couple brushing their teeth

Your basic dental care may not be the topic of many of your social conversations, but it should be on your mind every day. Your dental health is directly related to your overall health, so if you want good physical health, you need to have good oral health. Statistically, those with poor oral health have a higher incidence of serious diseases such as dementia, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. If you haven’t had a dental exam and teeth cleaning in a while, then call our Shelton office to schedule an appointment. Maintaining our patients’ good oral health is our only priority.

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What’s an Example of Basic Dental Care?

Your good dental hygiene regimen should consist of the following at a minimum:

● Annual dental checkups and teeth cleanings

● Brushing twice daily

● Using toothpaste with fluoride

● Flossing at least once daily

These are the minimum habits you should have, according to the American Dental Association. However, brushing and flossing after each meal and snack, eating a healthy diet, and using mouthwash are also beneficial. Not many people brush their tongues, but it’s a good habit to start. If you have questions about how to do this, ask your Shelton dentist for guidance.

Is Brushing Twice Daily Necessary?

Brushing twice each day – one time of which should be just before bedtime – is the best way to keep your teeth and gums healthy. If you don’t brush before bedtime, all the food particles and bacteria that have accumulated during the day will remain in your mouth overnight. As a result, they’ll begin to attack your tooth enamel and start the processes of tooth decay and gum disease.

When you brush, you should spend a minimum of 30 seconds on each of the four quadrants of your mouth. The quadrants are as follows:

● The upper right side of your jaw

● The lower right side of your jaw

● The upper left side of your jaw

● The lower left side of your jaw

The order you brush doesn’t matter as long as you spend a full two minutes brushing.

When you brush, use gentle pressure with a circular motion and a back-and-forth stroke. This ensures that you cover the maximum tooth surface possible. Firm pressure and quick strokes will be less effective and can cause striations in your tooth enamel, so don’t do that.

Your toothbrush should be sized appropriately for your mouth and have soft bristles of varying lengths. The longer bristles will reach between the teeth, while the shorter bristles will clean the surfaces of your teeth. Be sure to buy a toothbrush that’s the correct size for your mouth. Not all adults require adult-sized toothbrushes, and not all children require a child-sized toothbrush. Replace your toothbrush every three months, sooner if you’ve been ill and recovered. If the bristles start to splay or look frayed, then replace your toothbrush.

Should I Use Fluoridated Toothpaste?

Most brands of toothpaste now contain fluoride, a practice that was introduced in the 1950’s. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps strengthen tooth enamel and deter the formation of cavities. Many municipalities also fluoridate their water supply. Sometimes, patients are concerned they are getting too much fluoride. This isn’t usually problematic, but if you have concerns, ask your dentist. You’ll know if you have too much fluoride in your body. If you don’t have symptoms, you probably aren’t getting too much fluoride, but ask your dentist nevertheless if you’re concerned.

Should I Floss Once Daily or More Often?

Optimally, you should brush and floss after each meal or snack. However, this isn’t always an option. If not, then rinse your mouth well with plain water until you can resume your oral hygiene routine. You should floss once daily at a minimum, preferably just before bedtime, so that food particles don’t remain on your teeth overnight. Don’t eat anything after you’ve flossed at bedtime, or you’ll defeat the purpose of flossing.

The type of dental floss you use doesn’t matter. It’s strictly a personal preference. Some people prefer water flossers, others prefer floss picks, and others prefer traditional floss. It’s your choice, but ask your dentist if you have questions.

What Are Some Tips for Basic Dental Care?

Mouthwash is a great addition to your basic dental care routine, and it doesn’t matter whether you use non-alcoholic mouthwash or regular, and the flavor doesn’t matter. Make sure all your dental hygiene products contain the ADA Seal of Acceptance, so you know you’re getting a quality product that’s safe. Mouthwash removes any residual bacteria while it freshens your breath.

Your diet can help with your dental health also. Snack on nuts, fruits, and vegetables rather than junk food. Their crunchy texture will help remove bacteria and food debris from your teeth, and the increased nutrition may help you become healthier. Also, consider drinking plain water rather than sugary sodas, sports drinks, or energy drinks. Plain water may sound boring, but it’s the best for your body.

What Are Some On-the-Go Tips?

Those who are frequently on the go might consider assembling a travel kit containing travel-sized containers of their favorite dental products so they can maintain their routine when away from home. Remember, though, that if you’re where dental hygiene isn’t feasible, you can rinse your mouth well with plain water until it’s possible to use your hygiene routine.

What’s Meant by Good Prevention Habits?

Good prevention habits are those that proactively address problems before they happen. Oral cancer screenings are a good example. Oral cancer is insidious and presents asymptomatically, so you won’t know you have it until it has spread. Unfortunately, oral cancer is the fastest growing disease among adults and accounts for more than three percent of all new cancer cases.

We recommend that our patients get screened during their annual exam and cleaning. The screening isn’t painful, and it’s non-invasive. Your dentist will do the screening at the same time as the exam.

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We Can Help You

Our patients’ good dental health is our only priority, and we’re sure you’ll like the service you receive in our Shelton office. If you need an annual exam and teeth cleaning or any other dental procedure, click here to schedule an appointment for you.

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Huntington Family Dental Group

534 Shelton Ave, Shelton, CT 06484

(203) 916-1173