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Are You Keeping Good Oral Hygiene Habits?

Protecting your smile starts with an effective oral hygiene regimen and regular visits to the dentist. Our Windsor Locks, CT, general dentist,oral hygiene Dr. Thomas Yanik, offers the care you and your family need to keep your smiles bright and healthy.

What are the basics of a good oral hygiene routine?

An effective oral hygiene routine doesn't require complicated cleaning procedures or expensive tools. In fact, the least expensive toothbrush at a Windsor Locks store will be just as effective as the most costly option, as long as you brush twice a day and choose a brush with soft bristles. Dental experts recommend that you devote at least two minutes to brushing. If your goal is to brush as quickly as possible, you may leave some plaque behind on your teeth.

Plaque causes tooth decay, but may also increase your risk for gum disease. Plaque undergoes a transformation when it remains on your teeth for about 10 days. If you fail to remove it, it may turn into tartar, a brown or gray deposit that plays a role in gum disease. Gum disease can cause pain, bad breath, receding gums, and even loss of teeth if you develop a severe infection.

You'll reduce your risk of both cavities and gum disease if you brush twice every day and floss once per day. Flossing is just as important as brushing, yet it's often overlooked. Cleaning the areas between your teeth removes plaque and trapped food particles that can cause bad breath.

Following brushing and flossing with a little mouthwash can also help you protect your smile. Look for products that kill bacteria and offer fluoride, a mineral that strengthens weak areas of your tooth enamel.

How can I get rid of tartar?

Tartar is impossible to get rid of at home. The deposit is so hard that brushing or flossing won't be effective. No matter how often you brush, tartar won't budge. Luckily, it can be removed during your twice yearly visits to the dentist. Your dental hygienist uses special tools that remove tartar and plaque. Regular visits also include examinations to ensure that you don't have cavities or other dental issues.

Is it time for your next dental exam and cleaning? Call our Windsor Locks, CT, general dentist, Dr. Yanik, at (860) 623-1116 to schedule your appointment.

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