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The only thing worse than going to the dentist is having unhealthy dental hygiene. There are a few tips to keep your dental visits to a minimum and keep your mouth Dental Hygiene Washington, DCfresh and healthy between visits.

Start children early.
It’s never too early to start discussing dental hygiene. Habits are hard to break, and this includes good ones, like brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing and using fluoride. It is important to keep even baby teeth clean. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that a child’s first visit to the dentist take place by their first birthday. At this visit, the dentist will explain proper brushing and flossing techniques (you need to floss once your baby has two teeth that touch) and conduct an exam while your baby sits on your lap. Once a child reaches 2, they can spit while brushing, so start teaching them to brush their own teeth, and continue with dental visits. Children follow by example, so set a good one for your kids.

Clean your tongue.
Ahh, the tongue! Many people forget about this while brushing, but it is an important part of the mouth. After all, how else would food taste so good? Cleaning the tongue removes bacteria that generates bad-breath, decaying food particles, and dead cells. Tongue cleaning also prevents tooth decay and gum problems.

Rinse your mouth after meals.
Like cleaning the tongue, rinsing your mouth after meals also helps prevent tooth decay and gum dis-ease. Just a quick rinse with water will remove food particles. A fluoride rinse will go even further to freshen your breath and mouth.

Replace your toothbrush often.
Toothbrushes can be a breeding ground for germs, fungus, and bacteria. Most toothbrushes should be replaced every 3 months. Studies show that after 3 months of use, toothbrushes are less effective at removing plaque and the bristles break down and lose effectiveness.

Use fluoride.
Often referred to as “nature’s cavity fighter,” fluoride helps fight off and repair early stages of tooth decay. Found in public drinking water, toothpaste, and other dental products, it prevents cavities in children and adults by making teeth more resistant to the acid attacks that cause cavities and strengthening your teeth’s enamel.

Doing these few simple steps will work wonders to keep your mouth healthy and free of cavities. Make them habits and you’ll never dread another dental visit again. Talk to University Centre Dental Associates today to get your dental hygiene back on track.