Prophylaxis is the procedure of removing tooth plague and tartar which may develop even with careful brushing and flossing, especially in some hard to reach area. Your dentist and dental hygienist are trained professionals to perform routine dental cleaning.
Proper brushing takes at least two minutes — that’s right, 120 seconds! Most adults do not come close to brushing that long. To get a feel for the time involved, try using a stopwatch. To properly brush your teeth, use short, gentle strokes, paying extra attention to the gumline, hard-to-reach back teeth and areas around fillings, crowns or other restoration. Concentrate on thoroughly cleaning each section as follows:
- Clean the outer surfaces of your upper teeth, then your lower teeth
- Clean the inner surfaces of your upper teeth, then your lower teeth
- Clean the chewing surfaces
- For fresher breath, be sure to brush your tongue, too
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Flossing regularly is critical to good oral hygiene. Not only does it help remove harmful gum-irritating bacteria, but it also aids in the prevention of cavities between teeth. But while flossing is an important part of a healthy oral care routine, encouraging kids to floss can be a challenge for most parents. This becomes even more challenging when children have braces. The wires in braces can restrict you from flossing traditionally, and it isn’t easy to do on your own. Orthodontic care is an important part of maintaining a healthy smile, but it takes commitment from parents and guardians to make sure teeth stay healthy while they’re being straightened.
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What is Plaque
Plaque — also called biofilm — is a colorless layer of bacteria buildup on your teeth. When we eat foods full of carbohydrates, the bacteria in our mouth feed on those carbohydrates and produce acids. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), those acids can weaken enamel and increase the risk of developing cavities. Further, plaque will eventually harden into tartar and make your gums swollen and bleed easily, an early sign of gum disease. The good news is that plaque removal is simple with good oral hygiene and your dental hygienist’s help. See more at Colgate Education
Prevent Plaque Buildup
According to the Cleveland Clinic , it’s easy to prevent plaque buildup with proper care. Now that you’ve learned about how bacteria builds up on your teeth, remember to do the following:
Brush all surfaces of your teeth thoroughly at least twice a day Clean between your teeth and under your gumline with floss, water flossers, or another tool daily Limit sugary or starchy foods and drinks, especially snacks Schedule regular visits with your dental hygienist and dentist If plaque builds up for too long, it can harden into tartar, which cannot be removed at home. Fortunately, your dentist and dental hygienist can treat plaque or tartar buildup issues and give you special instructions for your exact situation. Happy brushing. You’ve got this!