Your mouth gets constant use during the course of the day, not only at meals but in between as you snack or sip on a drink. You may think a quick brush in the morning and evening will be sufficient, but often, it’s not. Here are some signs you may not be doing enough.
You Constantly Have Bad Breath
Occasional bad breath is common, especially after eating something like garlic or onions. But if you’re having frequent problems, it’s a sign you need more than a swish of mouthwash. Bad breath could mean you aren’t brushing or flossing thoroughly enough. Bacteria hide in the small spaces between your teeth and along the gum line. The buildup of bacteria releases gasses which emit a foul odor. Of course, brushing in tight spaces isn’t easy, and even careful flossing can miss a few spots. Ask your dental hygienist if an electric toothbrush or water flosser will help.
You Have Lots of Plaque
Plaque buildup on your teeth can cause tooth decay without regular cleanings. Plaque forms a film on your teeth that is teeming with bacteria. Without regular cleaning, it will eventually harden into tartar, especially just under the gums. Tartar is bad news because it causes tooth decay and gum problems. Tartar is the stuff that dental hygienists spend so much time scraping off your teeth during cleanings. You can reduce the amount of tartar you have by brushing more often and for longer. Dentists recommend you brush for at least two minutes to remove as much plaque as possible. Floss every time you brush, and make sure you scrape low at the gum line.
Your Gums Are Red and Sensitive
If your gums are red or sore, or if they bleed when you brush, you probably have gingivitis, a type of gum disease. Left untreated, this can develop into periodontal disease, which can lead to receding gums and tooth loss. If you’re already brushing, flossing, and rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash, consider scheduling cleanings more often. You might also need a deep cleaning or scaling. These are special procedures that clean away tartar and bacteria under the gums.
Good dental health takes care and diligence. If you’re experiencing minor problems, it’s important that you step up your dental cleaning routine. Otherwise, those minor annoyances can quickly turn into major trouble or pain.
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