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The program of Downeast Health Services mission provides and advocates for the importance of preventive and comprehensive oral health care and to improve access to quality oral health services throughout Hancock County.


Top 5 Dental Hygiene Tips (and Why You Need to See Your Dentist Often!)

Do you want healthy, strong, and perfectly white teeth? If so, you'll have to put a bit of effort into improving your oral hygiene habits. There are simple things you can do every single day to maintain the good condition of your teeth and gums. Here are five of the biggest essentials.

Improve Your Brushing and Flossing Technique

This one is an obvious - brushing and flossing form the backbone of your oral hygiene routine. If you're simply going through the motions, you're leaving bacteria and food residue behind. These are the perfect conditions for the formation of plaque.

These can also be the beginnings of gingivitis and gum disease. Tooth decay can also thrive in this environment, which can lead to the need for a root canal treatment.

When brushing, position the brush at a 45-degree angle against the gum line. Use back and forth and up and down movements. Your brush should reach both the teeth and the gum line to get rid of anything potentially harmful.

If you don't have the patience, you may want to switch to an electric toothbrush, which you can find at the store or a local dental office. Its rapid vibrations and automatic programs will give you the best results every single time. The only problem with this approach is that an electric toothbrush and the replacement heads tend to be a bit more expensive than the manually-operated "equipment."

When it comes to flossing, there are a few essentials to keep in mind as well. You should be flossing at least once per day. Thoroughly! Remember that the use of mouthwash can't replace flossing. As potent as your mouthwash is, it simply can't get in the gaps that you can reach with the floss. Usually your dentistry's experienced dental hygienist can go over the best flossing technique for your teeth and gums.

Clean Your Tongue Well!

This is an oral hygiene habit that so many people underestimate. As logical as it is, tongue cleaning is typically neglected.

The bacteria found along the gum line and between the teeth can also accumulate on the surface of the tongue. This is the main reason why it's a good idea to do a bit of tongue scraping when you're done with brushing.

You can use your toothbrush for this purpose or you can buy a tongue scraper. These are available on Amazon and they cost just a few dollars.

Stop Smoking

One thing dentists cannot do for you is stop your smoking. Do you need yet another reason to quit this nasty habit? Tobacco is having a profoundly negative effect on your teeth and the sooner you quit, the brighter your smile is going to get.

The tar and other chemicals found in cigarette smoke leave stains on the surface of the teeth. Tobacco also increases the risk of oral cancer and other medical conditions related to the mouth.

Improve Your Diet

Certain foods are particularly beneficial when it comes to enjoying strong and healthy teeth. These foods are rich in calcium and they improve the structure of the enamel.

Some of the foods to add to a healthy nutritional plan include milk, cheese, plain yogurt, fortified orange juice, broccoli and cauliflower and sources of vitamins from the B group. A calcium supplement may also be a good idea if you're predisposed to osteoporosis or teeth problems.

Limit the intake of sugar, alcoholic beverages, coffee, and alcohol. They could potentially stain and damage the teeth.

Eat sufficient quantities of fresh fruits and veggies. Foods like celery and apples (as well as other crunchy products) act as a "natural toothbrush" and they keep bacteria from accumulating on the surface of the teeth.

Visit Your Dentist Regularly

It's not a good idea to see your dentist solely in the case of an emergency. A prophylactic exam can identify a problem in its early stages. Such a problem will be much easier and a lot more inexpensive to fix. OC Dental Center (their Facebook here) in CA mentions catching early-stage problems quickly so you can experience less pain in the long run.

Your dentist knows your history and the types of problems to look for. Going to the dentist at least two times per year is ideal for preventing cavities, gum disease, and other common oral health problems.

On top of running a thorough diagnostic process, your oral health professional will give you improvements about taking better care of your teeth and gums. This way, you'll reduce the risk of experiencing problems. If you're considered a low-risk patient, you may be advised to see your doctor just one time per year.