Tooth decay doesn't have to an inevitable fact of life. Proper care of your teeth can help you avoid cavities and extensive dental treatments. Westfield, IN, dentists Drs. Kenneth and Katie Krause, who offer family dentistry services at Krause Dental, share a few tips that will help you care for your smile.
Brush and floss to prevent plaque build up
Failing to remove plaque increases your risk of tooth decay. Although you can't see this bacterial film, you've probably felt it on your teeth. When your teeth feel a little rough, it's because they're covered with a layer of sticky plaque. Brushing your teeth gets rid of the plaque and makes your teeth feel smooth again. Brushing twice per day helps keep your teeth free of plaque, but unfortunately, brushing alone doesn't remove plaque from every surface of your teeth. Daily flossing is needed to get rid of the plaque that adheres to the spaces between your teeth.
Easy does it
You don't have to apply a lot of pressure to get rid of plaque and stuck-on food particles. Tilt your brush at a 45-degree angle and use short, gentle strokes to clean your teeth. Make sure you brush all surfaces of your teeth and your tongue. Do you use a toothbrush with soft bristles? Using harder brushes can damage tooth enamel and make your teeth sensitive to hot or cold temperatures. Harder brushes can also push your gums back, which may increase sensitivity.
Take advantage of the power of cavity-fighting mouthwash
Today, mouthwash doesn't just keep your breath fresh, but can also play a role in preventing cavities. Products labeled "anti-cavity" contain antimicrobials that kill the bacteria present in plaque. Swish the mouthwash around in your mouth, spit, but don't rinse. Rinsing immediately following mouthwash use gets rid of much of the protection the product offers.
Don't forget about regular dental visits
Fitting in a dental visit isn't always easy when you have a busy schedule, but skipping exams can put your oral health at risk. When you visit our Westfield office, you'll receive a dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar. Tartar, that hard gray or brown stuff that forms on teeth when plaque isn't removed, increases your risk of developing gum disease. If you visit every six months and do happen to develop a cavity, it will be detected when it's small. Small cavities are easier to treat and also cause less damage to teeth.
Keep your smile healthy by taking good care of your teeth and taking advantage of the family dentistry services offered by Krause Dental in Westfield, IN. Call Drs. Kenneth and Katie Krause at (317) 399-9329 to schedule your appointment.