Visiting your dental hygienist on a regular basis, flossing, and brushing your teeth are not only important for keeping your smile healthy, they can add years to your life. Good oral hygiene, including regular visits to get your teeth professionally cleaned, ensure that oral bacteria don’t get a chance to grow and cause gum disease. An increasing body of research is proving that oral bacteria travels through the body and is linked to health problems including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and even pre-term births.

The best way to guard against periodontal disease begins with brushing your teeth following each meal. It has been documented that late night snacking has a direct bearing on tooth loss, so nothing but water should be consumed in the hour before bed. Flossing each day is necessary to remove food particles from between teeth where the toothbrush can’t reach. Remember to brush or scrape your tongue as well. The bacteria living on the tongue is responsible for a great deal of “bad breath” complaints.

Even if you follow all of these practices, you will still require a professional cleaning on a regular basis. Dental plaque and calculus may still form and need to be removed. While most dental hygiene recall schedules will have you visiting the dental hygienist every six months, some patients require more frequent recalls.

Laboratory testing has shown that oral bacteria re-colonize an area after approximately 90 days. For individuals with a history of gum disease, these recall appointments will be made at three month intervals.

If you are unsure about the effectiveness of your home care and want tips on better brushing and flossing techniques, please contact our Glendale cosmetic dentist today. Dr. Wilcox serves patients in Phoenix, Glendale, and Scottsdale, Arizona.

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