How should I care for my teeth?

To achieve good oral health, it’s important to brush and floss regularly. It’s recommended that you brush for two minutes twice a day. A soft-bristled toothbrush can be best for teeth, though toothbrush type is a personal preference. Flossing should also occur daily, either before or after brushing. A mouthwash is good for killing any remaining bacteria that brushing and flossing have missed.

How often should I visit the dentist?

For most people, adults and children, dentist visits should happen twice a year (every six months). During these visits, you’ll receive a dental exam, which can reveal any oral health issues, and a cleaning, which is important in maintaining oral health. Individuals who have had dental work or dental health issues in the past may require more frequent visits to the dentist.

What can I do about bad breath?

Occasional cases of bad breath should be easy to avoid with good oral hygiene, such as regular brushing and flossing. Make sure to clean the tongue each time you brush as well since bits of plaque and food can remain there which contain bacteria that cause bad breath. If you wear any dental fixtures, such as dentures, be sure to clean those regularly for the same reason. In addition to breath fresheners like mints and gum, there are natural breath fresheners that can help. These include herbs such as parsley and drinking mint tea or chewing mint leaves.

What do I do if I have a dental emergency?

In case of an emergency, such as a fractured tooth or loosened crown, contact your dental office as soon as possible. Most dental offices allow time for dental emergencies in their daily schedules. In the meantime, try to dress the injury to avoid making the situation worse. A tooth that has been broken or cracked can be painful or at least uncomfortable. A cold compress should help, as well as a pain reliever. An over-the-counter dental cement can help to temporarily fix the tooth. If a tooth has been knocked out, the tooth should be cleaned as soon as possible. Be sure to only handle the tooth by the crown (the top part) and never the root. Rinse it off and keep it in a container of milk or your saliva until you can get to the dentist office where they will try to place it back into the socket.

How can I keep my teeth protected from decay?

Besides regular brushing and flossing, an additional level of protection can be created for teeth by applying dental sealants or receiving a fluoride treatment. Talk to your dentist to see if either of these treatments are appropriate for you or your family.

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