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You should see the dentist every 6 months for your regular dental cleaning, exam and x-rays. Why every 6 months? First to prevent the plaque from building up on your teeth because once it's there you will not be able to get it off with your regular toothbrush. Second, it is easier to treat a cavity if it's caught early on, before it could become a root canal. The ADA recommends children be seen for their first dental visit by their first birthday or sooner if they have issues.
According to the American Dental Association you should brush at least twice a day with a soft bristle brush. You should replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months or sooner if the bristles are frayed. Also the ADA recommends using an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once daily.
Electric toothbrushes are more efficient in cleaning your teeth than manual toothbrushes. The movements of the electric brush make brushing easier and more effective. It is also easier to reach those hard to reach areas of the mouth, like behind the last molar. We love Sonicare!
Bad breath can be caused by a number of factors like plaque build up, periodontal disease and even some medications. Treatments for bad breath include regular dental cleanings, flossing, brushing the tongue and rinsing with mouth wash. If medication is causing a dry mouth check out Biotene; it comes in a toothpaste and mouth rinse.
It's unquestionable that smoking affects oral health. Heat from smoke may also cause gums to recede, leading to tooth loss and increased plaque build up. It is the same plaque known to clog blood vessels and lead to heat attacks. Also wounds inside the mouth will heal slower if at all. It is important to keep up on your oral hygiene and do not miss dental cleanings but ideally to quit smoking.
Periodontal disease has been shown to be associated with preterm delivery and low birth weight, both of which puts infants at risk of experiencing increased medical complications. It's very important to keep up your dental cleanings while pregnant.