Woman Brushing Teeth

Your smile benefits when you make good oral hygiene a priority. Phoenix, AZ, dentists Dr. Linda Beguin and Dr. Gary Steen of CenterCare Dental Group assist their patients in maintaining excellent dental health with checkups, dental cleanings, and treatments.

Why is good oral hygiene so important?

Poor oral hygiene increases your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Plaque, a transparent sticky film that contains bacteria, constantly coats your teeth. When the bacteria combines with sugars in food, strong acids capable of eating through your tooth enamel form.

If plaque isn’t removed in as little as 10 days, it turns into a hard deposit called tartar. Unlike plaque, tartar can’t be removed by flossing and brushing your teeth. Luckily, your dental hygienist can use special tools to remove the deposit.

Brushing and flossing regularly is the simplest way to avoid these oral health issues. When you brush, keep the two-minute rule in mind. The American Dental Association recommends brushing for at least two minutes to ensure that you remove as much plaque as possible. In addition to brushing in the morning and evening, it’s also important to floss at least once per day to remove plaque from the tight spaces between teeth.

How can I improve my oral hygiene?

Brushing isn’t very effective if you don’t clean your teeth and gums thoroughly. Make sure you brush the front and back surfaces of every tooth, without skipping any areas. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle, and use short strokes to remove plaque from your teeth and gums. Soft bristle brushes are ideal, as softer brushes won’t erode your tooth enamel or irritate your gums.

Choose toothpastes that contain fluoride, a natural mineral that can strengthen areas of tooth enamel weakened by acids. Although most commercial toothpaste brands contain the mineral, some natural toothpaste products omit it. If you prefer these toothpastes, follow brushing with a mouthwash that contains fluoride or ask your Phoenix dentist about fluoride supplements.

Visiting the dentist every six months can help you ensure that your oral hygiene routine is effective. If your dentist notices any areas of concerns, such as plaque buildup, he or she can recommend techniques that will help you improve your oral hygiene regimen. Regular visits also include cleanings that remove plaque and tartar, in addition to examinations that identify cavities or other oral health problems.

Protect your smile with regular dental visits. Call Phoenix, AZ, dentists Dr. Beguin and Dr. Steen of CenterCare Dental Group at (602) 671-3956 to schedule your appointment.