What is basic dental care?
Basic dental care
involves brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, seeing your dentist and/or
dental hygienist for regular checkups and cleanings,
and eating a mouth-healthy diet, which means foods high in whole grains,
vegetables and fruits, and dairy products.
Why is basic dental care important?
basic dental care:
gum (periodontal) disease , which can damage gum tissue and the
bones that support
teeth , and in the long term can lead to the loss of
- Shortens time with the dentist and dental hygienist, and
makes the trip more pleasant.
- Saves money. By preventing tooth
decay and gum disease, you can reduce the need for
fillings and other costly
- Helps prevent bad breath. Brushing and flossing rid
your mouth of the bacteria that cause bad breath.
- Helps keep teeth
white by preventing staining from food, drinks, and tobacco.
- Improves overall health.
- Makes it possible for your
teeth to last a lifetime.
Are there ways to avoid dental problems?
your teeth and gums healthy requires good nutrition and regular brushing and
- Brush your teeth twice a day—in the morning and before bed—and
floss once a day. This removes
plaque, which can lead to damaged teeth, gums, and
- Use a toothpaste that contains
fluoride, which helps prevent tooth decay and
cavities. Ask your dentist if you need a mouthwash
that contains fluoride or one with ingredients that fight plaque. Look for
toothpastes that have been approved by the American Dental Association.
- Avoid foods that contain a lot of sugar. Sugar helps
- Avoid using tobacco products, which can cause gum
oral cancer. Exposure to tobacco smoke (secondhand
smoke) also may cause gum disease as well as other health problems.1
- Practice tongue cleaning. You can use a tongue
cleaner or a soft-bristle toothbrush, stroking in a back-to-front direction.
Tongue cleaning is particularly important for people who smoke or whose tongues
are coated or deeply grooved.
- Schedule regular trips to the dentist
based on how often you need exams and cleaning.