To determine if your teeth are actually clean, try running your tongue across the front of your teeth. Did you feel a slimy coating? Cuffleyvillagedental.co.uk says that the slimy feeling you experience is proof of bacteria build-up. The build-up, called plaque, can damage your teeth and gums if you let it stick around for too long. So, it is important to stop plaque from lingering on your teeth to avoid painful oral problems such as gingivitis. Plaque prevention is possible when you follow this plan.
Step 1: Brush At Least Once a Day
Although brushing once a day is the minimum requirement, it would be better if you brushed your teeth after every meal. This avoids the formation of plaque by disrupting its build-up process. When brushing your teeth, use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothpaste. Make sure you brush all the areas of your mouth, including tongue, gums, teeth and the insides of your cheeks. Brush for at least two minutes.
Step 2: Clean Between Your Teeth
You need to accompany brushing with flossing. The dental floss can dislodge any plaque residing between your teeth. In case you are having a difficult time with flossing, consult your dentist and ask for alternative flossing solutions such as floss aids, water/air flossing devices and interdental brushes.
Step 3: Use Mouth Rinse
Take note that mouth rinse is different from a mouthwash. Dentists advise to use mouthwash to keep your breath fresh and use a mouth rinse to minimise the bacterial levels in plaque. A 30-second swish of mouth rinse done twice a day can prevent the formation of plaque.
Step 4: Avoid Sugary, Sticky Foods
Food that clings to your teeth when you chew is the hardest food to remove from your teeth. Starchy and sugary foods, such as sticky candy, granola bars and raisins, are some of the most harmful to teeth. Failure to remove sugar will ‘fuel’ the plaque and cause tooth decay. So, it is best to avoid consumption of these foods altogether.
While these steps are great in preventing plaque, this should not prevent you from visiting your dentist. Visit your dentist regularly (at least four times a year) so that he or she can personally check the condition of your teeth.