Is Your Oral Hygiene Routine Up to Par?
If you're like most people, you probably haven't given much thought to your oral hygiene routine. After all, brushing your teeth isn't exactly the most exciting event in your day. Unfortunately, if your oral hygiene is lacking, you may be unwittingly increasing your risk of tooth decay. Our Bolingbrook, IL, dentists, Dr. Kathryn Bachinski and Dr. Christine Petrilla, explain how you can optimize your routine and protect your oral health.
Spend an extra minute in the bathroom
If you brush for less than two minutes, you may not be completely removing plaque from your teeth. Plaque is the sticky, transparent coating that forms on your teeth between brushing sessions. If you happen to have plaque on your teeth and take a bite of a doughnut or other sugary or carbohydrate-laden food, an interesting reaction takes place in your mouth. The bacteria in the plaque mixes with the sugar to form an acid that's capable of wearing away your tooth enamel. Once your enamel is weak, cavities are more likely to occur.
Brushing gets rid of plaque, preventing the enamel-destroying attack from occurring. If your enamel does become a little weaker as a result of an acid attack, brushing with a toothpaste that contains fluoride will help remineralize and strengthen your enamel.
Find your floss
Do you know where your floss is? Even diligent brushers don't always floss regularly. Brushing your teeth removes plaque from the surfaces of your teeth, but it won't get rid of the sticky substance between your teeth. A once-a-day flossing habit will help you avoid cavities in those areas.
Add mouthwash to your oral hygiene routine
If you don't currently use mouthwash, consider adding it to your daily routine. When you visit a Bolingbrook store, read mouthwash labels, and look for a product that offers "anti-microbial, antibacterial or anti-cavity" protection. These mouthwashes kill the bacteria in your mouth that contribute to tooth decay. Stay away from products that contain alcohol. Alcohol-containing mouthwashes can irritate the tissues of your mouth and also cause dry mouth, which is a factor in bad breath.
Protect your smile with a thorough oral hygiene routine and regular dental checkups. Call our Bolingbrook, IL, dentists, Dr. Bachinski and Dr. Petrilla, at (630) 759-0077 to schedule your next exam.