Preventative Brush Floss Dental Visits Sealants Brush Proper brushing and flossing is important for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. This will only take a few minutes each day, but will help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Brushing helps to remove the plaque that forms on your teeth every day. If the plaque is not removed, it forms acid. This causes teeth to decay and gums to become infected. When brushing your teeth it is a good idea to use a brush with soft bristles, which is gentle on your gums. First, brush the chewing surface of your teeth with a back and forth motion to remove food particles. Next, gently brush your teeth in a circular motion with the bristles at a 45-degree angle towards the gum. Do the same on the inner surfaces of your upper teeth. Then repeat these same steps on your lower teeth. After brushing, rinse your mouth and check to see if you’ve missed any places. Floss Proper brushing and flossing is important for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. This will only take a few minutes each day, but will help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Flossing helps to remove the plaque that forms on your teeth every day. If the plaque is not removed, it forms acid. This causes teeth to decay and gums to become infected. Flossing removes plaque where a toothbrush cannot reach. These areas are along the gumline and between your teeth. To floss your teeth, start by taking about 12 inches of floss. Slide the floss between your teeth, curving around each tooth making a “c” shape. Make three scoops on each side of every tooth, going slightly under the gumline. Repeat this process with the lower teeth. Don’t forget to floss behind your back teeth. By combining proper flossing and a regular brushing routine, you are able to reduce plaque build-up. Dental Visits Regular visits to your dentist are an essential part of maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Plaque accumulates on your teeth every day. If the plaque is not removed, it forms acid. This causes teeth to decay and gums to become infected. An important part of any dental checkup is early detection of tooth decay. Tooth decay occurs over time, but can be most easily restored when discovered early. If tooth decay is allowed to progress without detection, more extensive restorations are required than under early detection. Your dentist will also be able to help identify signs of periodontal disease which, like tooth decay, is important to detect early on before it requires extensive restoration. Fluoride treatments from your dentist provide highly effective decay protection when combined with proper brushing and flossing. Sealants During a dental visit, your dentist may identify certain teeth that are prone to decay. A common preventative measure is the use of sealants. Food and plaque become trapped on the surface of your teeth every day, and cause decay if the plaque is not removed. Once sealants are in place, they are an effective barrier against decay in the deep pits and fissures of your teeth. To apply a sealant to deeper pits and fissures on the surface of your teeth, any food and plaque are first removed. The teeth at risk of decay are then cleaned of any debris with an abrasive paste, to ensure a clean surface for the sealant. A special conditioning solution is applied to the tooth to prepare it for the sealants. Sealants are placed in the pits and fissures of the teeth, and cured to create a barrier to food and plaque.