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What Is Basic Dental Care?

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

Oral hygiene is a vital part of not just our oral health but also our overall health and well-being. Proper basic dental care is the foundation of a healthy mouth and a stunning smile.

It plays a key part in preventing the development of common dental health issues such as gum disease (gingivitis, periodontitis), cavities, and halitosis (bad breath).

Demineralization of enamel
Demineralization of enamel

While most people are aware of the importance of maintaining good dental health and oral hygiene, they may not understand what basic dental care is. This article serves as an introduction to basic dental care, the practices that it entails, and the importance of incorporating them into your daily oral hygiene regime.

What Is It and Why Is It Important?

Basic dental care involves measures that aim to improve and maintain good oral health and prevent complications from occurring. Brushing and flossing on a regular basis, consuming a well-balanced diet, professional teeth cleanings, and routine dental checkups are all part of what basic dental care entails.

These practices help to combat common dental health problems, which is why adopting a basic dental care routine is so important. After all, prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Basic Dental Care Techniques

Now that you have an understanding of what basic dental care is and why it’s important, let’s take a closer look at what each of these techniques are.

Regular Brushing

Regular brushing is one of the easiest yet most crucial components of basic dental care. All dentists and dental hygienists recommend brushing at least twice a day: once in the morning and once before bed.

The proper brushing technique:

  1. Apply a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to a soft-bristled toothbrush

  2. Angle the brush at a 45-degree angle towards the gum line.

  3. Apply short strokes back and forth but gently.

  4. Clean the front, back, and top of your teeth

  5. Don't forget to brush your tongue.

The brushing method described above is called the bass technique and is recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA).

Daily Flossing

Though it’s often overlooked, flossing is a vital part of proper dental health routine, as it removes plaque and other debris that get trapped between the teeth and along the gums. Brushing is ineffective at cleaning in between the teeth (interproximal areas).

Ideally you should floss every time that you brush but we understand that most people don't have the time for it. If you were to only floss once per day, we highly recommend doing it at night right before bedtime. That is the most crucial time since our salivary flow decreases while we're asleep so the chances for caries is highest then.

Regular Checkups and Cleanings

Regular checkups and professional cleanings are crucial. During oral examinations, your dentist will be able to detect any issues early on. This may include tooth decay, gingivitis, and impacted teeth.

Catching them early before their condition becomes severe will not only prevent pain but also costly dental treatments.

A dental hygienist will clean your teeth, removing any plaque and tartar buildup, which can accumulate even with proper brushing and flossing. Unfortunately once calculus builds on your teeth you will not be able to remove it at home. Only professional treatment can undo it.

Consume Healthy Foods and Remain Hydrated

Your diet has a big impact on tooth and gum health. Sugary and acidic foods and beverages can eat away at tooth enamel and cause decay, so you should strive to minimize its consumption.

Choosing organic, nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains will go a long way in improving your oral health.

Additionally, be sure to drink plenty of water. Doing so will not only keep your mouth moist but will also help to neutralize acids and wash away particles between brushings. This can raise the pH of your mouth and prevent your teeth from demineralizing.

Avoid Bad Habits

It’s also important to avoid bad habits that can be harmful to your teeth and gums. Smoking and the use of chewing tobacco not only stain teeth but increase the risk of serious dental health issues, such as gum disease and cancer.

You should also steer clear of using your teeth as tools (using them to open packages, or opening beer bottles), as doing so can result in chipping or tooth fractures. Did you know that the upper premolars are one of the most commonly fractured teeth from opening beer? People end up with implants because of it!

Enjoy a Lifetime of Healthy Teeth and a Brilliant Smile

Basic dental care is the bedrock of healthy teeth and a brilliant smile. By incorporating the strategies outlined above, you’ll be able to enjoy a lifetime of good oral health and will have a smile that you’ll be proud of.

You have to be able to eat well to live well so what are you waiting for? Come book your next dental appointment with our long island city dentists.



David Chen 200 x 200.jpg

About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

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Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!

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