People used to think that you naturally lose your teeth as you age, but we know this is not true. Following a few easy steps for keeping your teeth and gums healthy – plus seeing your dentist regularly — you can have your teeth for a lifetime!
Plaque: What is it?
Plaque is made up of harmful germs and bacteria that live in the mouth and stick to the teeth. Some types of plaque can lead to potential gum disease. Red, puffy or bleeding gums can be the first signs of gum disease. If gum disease is not treated, the tissues holding the teeth in place may become destroyed and the teeth can eventually fall out if nothing is done to prevent the gum disease.
Dental plaque is difficult to see unless it’s stained. You can stain plaque by chewing red “disclosing tablets,” found at grocery stores and drug stores. The colour left on the teeth will show you where there is still plaque—and areas you may be missing while brushing.
Ask your dentist or dental hygienist if your plaque removal techniques are okay.
Step One: Floss
Step Two: Brush Teeth
Use any tooth brushing method that is comfortable, but does not scrub hard back and forth. Small circular motions and short back and forth motions work well. To help prevent tooth decay using fluoride toothpaste is best.
Remember: food residues, especially sweets, provide nutrients for the germs that cause tooth decay, as well as those that cause gum disease. That’s why it is important to remove all food residues, as well as plaque, from teeth. Remove plaque at least once a day — twice a day is better.