Tips For Cleaning Teeth!

Tips For Cleaning Teeth
Oral hygiene is the practice of keeping the mouth clean and healthy by brushing and flossing to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
Anyone that has been to the dentist has heard the infamous spiel regarding the importance of both brushing and flossing your teeth daily. Although any maintenance of your teeth is better than no maintenance at all, there are key factors in the maintenance of the teeth that will ensure the best outcome.
The purpose of oral hygiene is to prevent the build-up of plaque, the sticky film of bacteria and food that forms on the teeth. Plaque adheres to the crevices and fissures of the teeth and generates acids that, when not removed on a regular basis, slowly eat away, or decay, the protective enamel surface of the teeth, causing holes (cavities) to form. Plaque also irritates gums and can lead to gum disease (periodontal disease) and tooth loss.

Reason for Brushing and Flossing
Every day your teeth will build up plaque as the residue from your food sits on them. Plaque causes tooth decay, as it is full of bacteria that will break down the tooth. Brushing will help to rid of the mouth of the plaque on the teeth and flossing will rid the mouth of the plaque in between the teeth. Plaque build up will eat away at the enamel of the tooth, cause redness and irritation on the gums and if not taken care of, will eventually cause periodontal disease and the loss of teeth in later years.

Best Practices for Brushing and Flossing
Dentists recommend brushing your teeth twice a day. Although it could be easy for one to think that using a hard bristled brush will clean the teeth the best, it's actually much harder on the gums surrounding the teeth and not recommended. A soft-bristled brush is the best toothbrush to use while cleaning your teeth.
Flossing is a essential part of maintaining the health of your teeth as well. It catches the areas that are hard to reach and should be performed once a day. Lack of flossing is a leading cause of periodontal disease thus it shouldn't be ignored.
Mouthwashes are helpful in killing bacteria in the mouth and in the prevention of gingivitis. However, in most cases flossing and brushing are enough and should never be replaced by mouthwash alone.
With proper brushing and flossing, oral hygiene may be maintained and oral health problems may be avoided. Older adults may no longer assume that they will lose all of their teeth in their lifetime. Regular oral care preserves speech and eating functions, thus prolonging the quality of life.
Professional cleaning appointments should also be scheduled at least twice a year in order to clear the mouth of build up that is missed by brushing and flossing.
For those that have dental implants it is critical that they follow the instructions provided by their dentist and stay up to date on all professional cleaning appointments as well.
When plaque is not regularly removed by brushing and flossing, it hardens into a yellow or brown mineral deposit called tartar or calculus. This formation is crusty and provides additional rough surfaces for the growth of plaque. When tartar forms below the gum line, it can lead to periodontal (gum) disease.
Gingivitis is an early form of periodontal disease, characterized by inflammation of the gums with painless bleeding during brushing and flossing. This common condition is reversible with proper dental care but if left untreated, it will progress into a more serious periodontal disease, periodontitis.
Periodontitis is a gum disease that destroys the structures supporting the teeth, including bone. Without support, the teeth will loosen and may fall out or have to be removed. To diagnose periodontitis, a dentist looks for gums that are red, swollen, bleeding, and shrinking away from the teeth, leaving widening spaces between teeth and exposed root surfaces vulnerable to decay.
Tooth decay, also called dental caries or cavities, is a common dental problem that results when the acid produced by plaque bacteria destroys the outer surface of a tooth. A dentist will remove the decay and fill the cavity with an appropriate dental material to restore and protect the tooth; left untreated, the decay will expand, destroying the entire tooth and causing significant pain.