The effects of poor dental care range from tooth decay and cavities to gingivitis, periodontitis, and tooth loss. Fortunately, proper dental care, including cleaning teeth correctly and regularly, can prevent most of these problems.
If you don’t clean your teeth well every day, you’re putting yourself at risk for tooth decay. Early signs of decay include visible holes in your teeth, pain when you bite and feelings of sensitivity or pain in your teeth.
When the carbohydrates in the food and drinks that you consume aren’t cleaned from the teeth regularly, they provide fuel for cavity-causing bacteria. These bacteria can start forming plaque on teeth within 20 minutes of eating, so if you’re a frequent snacker, you may want to clean your teeth more often than twice a day. The truth is, bacteria are almost always present in the mouth, and frequent cleaning — and limiting sugary foods — may help prevent decay.
Cleaning teeth also helps prevent cavity-causing bacteria from progressing to gingivitis, or gum disease.
A Recommended Dental Care Routine
Keep your teeth clean and cavity-free by following a regular dental care routine of twice-daily tooth brushing and daily flossing. And visit your dentist and dental hygienist at least once a year for a professional cleaning and assessment to catch any problems before they become serious. Your dentist or dental hygienist might also recommend a particular type of toothbrush, dental floss or oral rinse to help you get the most out of your daily dental care routine.