A study cited in the New York Post shows that a full 30 percent of Millennial Americans brush their teeth once a day, and the rest of that age group brush in a hit-and-miss fashion. What about you? Are you keeping good oral hygiene habits? At ParkLin Dental in Katonah, NY your dentists, Dr. Enyoung Park and Dr. Terry Lin, stress how important regular oral care is--both at home and at the dental office. Read on about how to keep your smile healthy and bright.
Plaque and tartar
Dentists call them biofilms. They are the residues left on teeth after meals and snacks. Carbohydrate-based foods cause the most soft plaque which, if not removed by brushing and flossing, hardens into calculus, or tartar. Both plaque and tartar are vast reservoirs of Streptococcus bacteria which cause tooth decay and gum disease. To avoid both potentially devastating conditions, children through senior adults should follow strict habits of oral hygiene.
Oral hygiene habits
They start at home--in babyhood actually, when Mom or Dad wipes a little's one's mouth clean after each feeding. This oral hygiene habit progresses to brushing with non-fluoride toothpaste and eventually to fluoride toothpaste and flossing.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends everyone brush twice a day and floss in between teeth once a day. Morning and bedtime are best and whenever sugary foods are consumed.
Additionally, a healthy diet actually is a great oral hygiene habit. Your Katonah dentists advise:
- Limiting processed sugars and carbohydrates
- Eating fresh fruits and vegetables
- Consuming low-fat proteins, calcium from dairy products and dark leafy vegetables and upping the intake of whole grains (as opposed to refined grains), such as rice, oats, barley and wheat (if tolerated)
- Drinking water a day to help saliva production and keep teeth and gums clean
Finally, your partnership with ParkLin Dental is an important oral hygiene habit. Dr. Park and Dr. Lin usually recommend patients come to the office every six months for complete check-ups and hygienic cleanings. In-office prophylaxis avoids complicated oral health problems by diagnosing them early and by removing the tartar and plaque which inflame gum tissue and decay tooth enamel.
Your dentist will advise you if semi-annual check-ups are adequate or if you should come in more often (if you need periodontal maintenance, for instance). Also, the doctor may recommend fluoride treatments or plastic sealants, simple preventive services which protect teeth from developing decay.
How are you doing?
When you practice good oral hygiene, you can anticipate great check-ups and years of healthy smiles. If it's time for your six-month check-up and cleaning, please contact the office team at ParkLin Dental for an appointment: (914) 232-8182.