We are open - safety is our top priority!
Posted on: July 25, 2022
Basic Dental Care in Baltimore
When you practice good basic dental care, you keep your mouth feeling clean and fresh and reduce your risk of dental diseases, such as tooth decay and gum disease. In addition to your oral hygiene at home, you should see a dentist regularly for routine exams and teeth cleanings. Please call our dental office in Baltimore to learn more about what we recommend to keep your teeth healthy, including:
- Brushing twice a day
- Using a toothpaste with fluoride
- Flossing your teeth
- Scheduling routine dental exams
We encourage preventative care, as we would rather see you do these things than treat you for cavities and/or gum disease.
Proper Teeth Brushing
Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes. Be sure to brush the front, back and chewing surfaces of each tooth. Always use a toothbrush with soft bristles; hard bristles can wear down tooth enamel and damage your gums. Choose a toothbrush with bristles that vary in height as these clean better. Toothbrushes last about three to four months before they begin to fray. Replace yours often, as a frayed brush won’t clean as well.
Also, make sure to store your toothbrush upright, so it dries between uses and will not harbor bacteria. If you want to disinfect your toothbrush, soak it in a mix of hydrogen peroxide solution and a cup of water for 15 minutes. Rinse well before using. You can also clean your toothbrush with antibacterial mouthwash.
When you’re brushing your teeth, don’t forget to brush your tongue. Tongues can become covered in plaque just like teeth. Your mouth will feel fresher and your breath will smell better too. You can also buy tongue scrapers if you don’t want to use your toothbrush. They are usually located by the toothbrushes at your favorite store.
Why Do I Need Fluoride Toothpaste?
When you use fluoride toothpaste, you’re strengthening your tooth enamel. Fluoride is entirely safe, unless you swallow too much of it. It’s a natural mineral that will help keep cavities at bay for children and adults. However, dentists don’t recommend small children use fluoride-heavy toothpaste when brushing their teeth. Once you’ve brushed, don’t rinse your mouth. Spit the toothpaste out and some of the fluoride will remain on your teeth. If you have to rinse, use as little water as possible.
Should I Floss Daily?
Flossing should be part of everyone’s daily dental hygiene. Floss before you brush your teeth, so when you spit out the toothpaste, you’ll also spit out the plaque and food bits that were trapped between your teeth. It’s essential to clean the sides of your teeth, as your toothbrush can’t reach them. Flossing just one a day can reduce your risk of cavities and gum disease. Flossing will also help your breath stay fresh, as food trapped between your teeth can rot and emit a sour smell.
What Are Some Other Basic Dental Care Tips?
If you use a mouthwash, choose one with fluoride to help your tooth enamel become stronger. An antibacterial mouthwash can also help reduce bacteria in your mouth. One of our dentists can help you choose a mouthwash according to your risk factors. If you’re considering a mouthwash to whiten your teeth, ask your dentist for alternatives that will work better.
If you smoke or use tobacco, quit. Tobacco use can lead to gum disease and oral cancer.
Avoid too many starchy or sugary drinks and foods. The plaque on your teeth will take the sugar and turn it into an acid that attacks tooth enamel. If you indulge, and we all do at times, brush your teeth afterward or rinse your mouth out with water if you don’t have a toothbrush handy.
What Services Does Our Dental Practice in Baltimore Provide?
To help keep your teeth and gums healthy, we offer:
- Routine checkups
- Teeth cleanings
- Oral cancer screenings
These preventative services are just as important as your at-home dental hygiene routine. Regular checkups are also a cost-effective way to maintain your oral health. Your dentist can head off many problems, or treat them early, when they are less expensive to treat.
It’s especially important for everyone over age 18 to have an oral cancer screening, even if they don’t smoke. The cure rate is more than 90% if oral cancer is caught early. The cure rate is far lower if the cancer reaches a later stage and it’s not detected. The screening is non-invasive and part of a routine exam.
We also recommend you have your teeth professionally cleaned every six months. Even if you practice excellent dental hygiene, there are always areas that are challenging to reach. Your teeth will sparkle after they are polished, and the abrasive toothpaste hygienists use can remove minor stains. You’ll also get a professional tooth flossing. Most dental insurance companies cover at least part of the cost of a professional cleaning because it is important to your oral health.
Visit Our Dental Office in Baltimore
We offer affordable preventative care and we are transparent about our fees. We also accept most major dental insurance plans. If you have questions about our fees or payment options, please call us. Schedule your checkup and dental cleaning today at our friendly office. We always like to meet new patients who want to partner with us in keeping their smile in great shape.