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Establishing Dental Routines

If you take seriously the need to properly take care of your teeth you will see your dentist once or twice annually for the purpose of getting your teeth cleaned or obtaining diagnoses for your other dental needs. It may be difficult to comprehend, but human teeth are designed to last the lifetime of each individual whether it is 20 or 100 years.

To understand your teeth and how you should care for them, you should know a little something about their composition. Most folks have a basic understanding of the enamel or the visible white coating on the teeth, but little else. The enamel on your teeth is considered the hardest and most highly mineralized substance of the entire body. There are four main tissues that encompass the tooth: enamel, dentin, cementum and pulp.

Enamel consists of hydroxylapatite, which is a mineral that makes up 96 percent of teeth. (It also makes up to 50 of the bone.) Water and organic material make up the other 4 percent. Dentin gives the teeth its yellowish color, which many folks do not understand and pay a small fortune in their quest for whiter teeth. Dentin comprises most of the tooth and supports the enamel; however, its soft composition makes it more liable to decay. Whereas the enamel is brittle and subject to crack or chip, dentin is less brittle and less likely to chip or crack.

The next part of teeth is the cementum, which is the yellowish matter that covers the root of teeth and is softer than both the enamel and the dentin. This component is made up of 33 percent proteins (more protein than in any other part of the body) and 45 percent of the mineral hydroxpalite. Water makes up 22 percent of the remaining substances. Cementum anchors your teeth to the jawbone, thereby stabilizing them.

You may not know where the pulp is located, but if you have ever had a toothache or had your dentist drill down too far you have felt its effects. Your dentist will probably say he “hit a nerve” which is the pulp. It is sensitive because it consists of nothing but nerves and blood vessels.

At a minimum, your dental hygiene should consist of the following:

Flossing
Most Dentists attribute daily flossing the panacea for healthy teeth. When you eat food tends to lodge between the teeth, therefore it is critical to floss as a way of preventing periodontal and tooth decay. Extremes cases of periodontal will also cause tooth loss. Ideally, you should floss after each meal. There are studies that support flossing as an agent in the prevention of strokes and heart attacks.

Brushing
If you fail to brush your teeth, plaque will buildup and you will have tooth decay. Plaque is a sticky material that forms either on or between the teeth. Failure to brush allows plaque buildup, which when teamed up with the starches and sugars you eat forms an acid that eats away at your tooth enamel. Frequent brushing removes the plaque on the teeth. Ask your dentist to explain the difference between tooth brushes to ensure you are using a brush that is compatible with your dental needs.

Find a tooth paste that helps prevent cavities, gingivitis and plaque buildup. Colgate Total gel is an excellent product that also fights tartar buildup and is recommended by the American Dental Association.

Mouth Rinses
After flossing and brushing, rinse with a mouth wash. “ACT restoring” is an anti-cavity fluoride mouthwash. It strengthens the enamel to prevent tooth decay and it kills bad breath germs. This mouthwash will definitely aid in the prevention of dental cavities. There is also “Crest Pro-Health” that fights plaque, fights gingivitis and it also fights bad breath.

Rinse after eating apples
Apples are high in acids, which will eat at the enamel; therefore, rinse with either of the aforementioned rinses or with water.

If you floss and brush your teeth after each meal, it is unlikely you will suffer the agonies of root canals and crowns to bolster decaying teeth. Your teeth were designed to last your lifetime and they will if you take care of them.