Key to oral hygiene explained by Weston-super-Mare dentist

The essence of good oral hygiene is keeping your mouth free from bacteria, plaque and food debris so that it looks and smells as healthy as possible. This can be indicated by teeth that are clean and free from food particles and staining, gums that are pink and do not hurt or bleed when brushed and breath that does not smell.

This can be achieved by adopting a fairly simple but quite regimented system of cleaning and regular dental check ups. Teeth cleaning is carried out most effectively in several stages. The first and most important is brushing your teeth twice a day with an appropriate brush and paste. A Weston-super-Mare dentist can recommend the most suitable products for your particular teeth. Brushing should be carried out gently so as not to damage the gums and at a forty-five degree angle to the teeth for the most effective cleaning.

Second to brushing in importance is flossing, which dentists recommend should be performed once a day. Flossing is important because it cleans teeth below the gum line and in the difficult inter-dental areas hard to reach with normal brushes. Both brushing and flossing help to prevent the build up of plaque, a substance that releases damaging acids that cause tooth decay if not removed. They also remove food debris that causes over 90 per cent of cases of bad breath.

Further cleaning methods that can benefit oral hygiene are using mouthwashes (always ask your dentist before using), inter-dental brushes and tongue cleaners. Effective brushing and flossing should be enough but these other apparatus can also help in some cases. However, effective cleaning is only really beneficial when teamed with regular check ups with your dentist. Even the cleanest mouth can still be susceptible to dental decay, and only a trained dentist can spot the first signs of decay and gum disease. Dentists recommend a check up every six months to help keep your mouth as healthy and clean as possible.

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