Good Oral Health Habits Are Good For The Whole Family
- February 15, 2017
Family dentistry doesn’t start when you walk into the dentist office. It starts at home.
Don’t misunderstand us. Regular professional dental cleanings should be part of your family’s oral care routine. Even so, the staff at Total Dental Care of South Carolina encourages you to make dental hygiene a lifelong habit.
Brushing and flossing your teeth are essential for preventing tooth decay and gum disease. And since this is Gum Disease Awareness Month, we wanted to take a moment to review what you should be doing — daily — to keep your mouth as healthy as it can be.
Whenever you visit our dentist office in Columbia, SC, we want you to know that you are welcome to ask us questions about your oral health habits. Our dental professionals will be happy to demonstrate the proper way to brush and floss for you and your children.
Brushing & Flossing
How should you brush and floss?
What should you use?
How often should you do each of these things?
To answer these questions, we encourage you to follow the suggested guidelines of the American Dental Association.
We’ll start with brushing your teeth. First, you should have a soft-bristled toothbrush for each member of your family and a fluoride toothpaste.
Everybody old enough to brush their own teeth should squeeze a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush.
Twice each day, you should scrub your teeth on all sides for two minutes at a time. When you are finished, scrub your tongue, spit the toothpaste into the sink, and rinse your toothbrush.
You can download apps that will help you time your brushing, or just use a simple stopwatch. At the same time, don’t brush too hard because this can damage your teeth and gums.
The ADA recommends flossing between your teeth once a day. You can use whatever dental floss feels comfortable to you.
When you floss, break off a piece about 18 inches long. Wrap the ends around your middle fingers, and whole a small section between your index fingers and thumbs.
Gently work the floss between your teeth, hugging it below the gumline on each side of your tooth.
Unwrap the floss as needed to use a clean piece between each tooth. When you are finished, throw the floss away.
If you don’t like flossing or find it uncomfortable, ask us about other ways you can clean between your teeth.
You can contact us online or call Total Dental Care of South Carolina at 803-272-4162.
Visiting The Dentist
How often should you visit the dentist?
A good guideline is to visit the dentist every six months. If you have a particular oral health issue, such as chronic gum disease, you may need to visit more often.
During your visits to our dentist office in Columbia, SC, here’s what you can expect during your dental cleanings and exams.
We want to monitor any changes that have occurred since your previous visit. We will be looking to see if your teeth have changed positions or if a cavity is starting to form.
We will watch for any signs of gum disease. (If needed, we offer non-surgical gum disease treatments.)
We will scan your mouth with our VELscope. This is a tool that allows us to find possible signs of oral cancer earlier than we could with our eyes. We don’t ever want to find oral cancer, but we also know that early detection makes your treatment much more likely to be effective.
During your cleaning, one of our dental professionals will remove any plaque or tartar from your teeth. This can help prevent tooth decay or gum disease from developing.
Before we finish, we will polish your teeth so they will look their best when you leave.
Good oral hygiene habits and regular dental check-ups will do a lot to keep your mouth healthy. But if you want to go the extra step, you can take advantage of our other services as well.
Dental sealants provide an added layer of protection against tooth decay. Many parents choose to get sealants for their children, although adults can get them, too.
Fluoride treatments can help your teeth in two ways. Fluoride can repair minor damage to your enamel, and it can strengthen your enamel as further protection against cavities.
Call Us Soon
If you have not yet scheduled your next dental cleaning, contact Total Dental Care of South Carolina today. You can request an appointment with our online form, or you can call us at 803-272-4162.