Our team at Forsyth Dental Center has found that when our patients have a better understanding of their oral health, then they can keep their smiles in excellent condition. For this reason, we not only offer general dentistry in Forsyth, Georgia, for the entire family, but also a dental education. Our dentist and team will help you understand how to care for your teeth and gums so they stay strong and healthy for life. Read some of the information below or visit Dr. Clell M. Morris if you want to learn more about how to maintain your oral health.

How to brush your teeth correctly

You need to brush your teeth for two minutes’ time twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and brush using small strokes. Don’t brush with too much force because doing so can cause enamel erosion and gingival recession. You should start cleaning the outer surfaces of your teeth, followed by the inner and chewing surfaces. Don’t forget to brush your tongue afterwards.

How to floss your teeth correctly

You need to floss between your teeth at least once a day because doing so will clean about 40% of the surface of your teeth. Begin by wrapping 18 inches of floss around your middle fingers. You will pinch an inch of the floss tightly between your forefinger and thumb, and when this section becomes dirty, you can unwind and use the extra floss. Gently rub the floss between your teeth, avoiding snapping it against your gums. When you reach the gum line, curve the floss against the tooth and carefully slide it up and down between the tooth and the gum. Repeat on the other tooth.

What causes tooth decay?

When the bacteria in your mouth collects on teeth, it becomes a sticky film called plaque. Plaque can only be removed from your mouth with routine brushing and flossing. After you eat food, the plaque uses the sugars from your meal to make acid. This acid is what causes tooth decay because it attacks tooth enamel, creating a hole in it over time. However, cavities are easily prevented if you maintain excellent oral hygiene, keep a healthy diet, and regularly visit a dentist for cleanings.

What causes gum disease?

If plaque is not regularly cleaned away from your teeth, then it can harden into a calcified substance called tartar. Tartar can only be removed by a dental hygienist. If plaque and tartar extend under your gum line, then they can irritate the gum tissue there and cause inflammation and infection. This is gum disease (periodontal disease), and it is characterized by red, tender, swollen, and bleeding gums. This stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, can advance into periodontitis, which is characterized by gum and bone tissue destruction as well as tooth loss. You can prevent gum disease by keeping a daily hygiene routine and visiting a dentist every six months. You may also want to maintain a nutritious diet, treat health conditions that affect your immune system, and avoid lifestyle habits like smoking.