What is basic dental care?

Many people have different definitions of basic dental care.  For some of us, this means brushing your teeth twice daily and occasionally flossing.  For others, this means visiting your dentist as well as performing your daily oral hygiene routine at home.  Dr. Fialkoff and his team at the Bayside Dentist are here to educate all of their patients on proper basic dental care and make you smile shine bright this holiday season!

Start With The Basics At Home

Just like you take a shower daily before work, brushing your teeth is a must!  This not only prevents halitosis (or bad breath) but also cleans your enamel from food particles which can develop into plaque and bacteria and cause painful cavities.  Once brushing is complete, it is important to rinse and floss as well.  The fluoride in dental rinse is an essential ingredient, which will strengthen your teeth and protect them from pathogens.  Flossing is important because although our teeth may feel squeaky clean after a good brushing session, there will always be tiny food particles which get stuck in the small crevices.  If these are not removed by flossing, they can develop into harmful bacteria.

Dental Checkups and Cleanings

Although taking proper care of your teeth at home is a great start, we do not have the proper tools and training to take professional care of our teeth.  This is why the American Dental Association agrees that all adults and pediatrics alike should have biannual dental check ups and cleanings.  This will allow the dentist to take a closer look at what is going on beneath the surface, perform an in-office cleaning and take dental x-rays to see if there is anything of interest going on beneath the gumline.  This is also an important appointment because your dentist will do a full evaluation of your gums, tongue and inner cheeks, to screen for any irregularities or signs of oral cancer.  He will also be able to see how you are taking care of your teeth at home and if any modifications need to be made to the products, tools or methods you are using.

The Benefits
There are several reasons to practice proper oral hygiene and attend all dental appointments as recommended.  First, this will prevent tooth enamel decay, which can lead to painful, expensive treatments later down the road.  Secondly, this is your best defense against periodontal (or gum) disease.  The gums are the roots which support the bones of our teeth and without proper care and maintenance, tooth loss may occur.  Proper basic dental care also helps in day to day life, by preventing bad breath and making your smile and appearance more attractive.  Lastly, it will save you many dollars in the long run, as even with dental insurance, treatments are always much more costly than preventative maintenance.