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Taking care of your teeth is essential to keeping your smile looking healthy and bright and knowing the basics of proper dental care in Lafayette, LA is key to maintaining that healthy smile for the world to see. Following a few simple steps each day and having good dental hygiene habits can prevent tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, and other dental issues.

With so much new and different information coming at us about our oral health, some of it conflicting, sometimes it’s difficult to determine what’s right and what’s wrong for our teeth. But, some things never change, and when it comes to dental care the basics that have been there for decades still have relevance today.

Here are a few reminders to help you brush up on your oral hygiene, keeping your mouth free of cavities and disease:

Brushing Your Teeth Twice a Day (At Least)

You’ve been hearing it since you were a kid … “Don’t forget to brush your teeth!” Well, Mom and Dad were right. According to the Dentists in Lafayette, LA at Dr Curtis Roy & Associates, regular brushing is your best defense against the plaque and bacteria that lead to most of the oral problems we see today, as always.

Twice a day — when you wake up in the morning and before bed at night — is the bare minimum. Ideally, you’d brush after every meal, as well. Because this isn’t always convenient, commit to fitting in at least one additional brushing per day, perhaps after lunch … more if you can. To make this goal more attainable, stash a spare brush and paste at your workplace or in your car.

Soft Tooth Brush

Be sure to use an American Dental Association-approved fluoride paste. (Check the package for the ADA seal.) When it comes to brushes, stay on the softer side. Bristles that are too hard can irritate gums and even wear away enamel with long-term use. Take care to clean the fronts, backs and sides of each tooth using side-to-side as well as up-and-down motions. Or, invest in a professional-quality electric brush, such as the Rota-dent, which mimics the motion of the cleaning tool your dental hygienists use at the office. And brush your tongue, too! It scrubs away germs that cause bad breath.

Be Sure to Floss

Yes, this too is true. Flossing isn’t just a good thing to do. It’s a must! Floss once daily, or more, to keep the spaces between your teeth clear of plaque-trapping food particles and to keep your gums strong and healthy. Shawn Fonseca, one of our Dental Hygienists in Lafayette, Louisiana, says a fast floss is better than no floss at all, but try to take the time to really work the floss down between each tooth, rubbing up against each surface. Don’t forget those back molars!

For some reason, people tend to skip flossing as often than they should. But it’s simple really, and even a thorough flossing doesn’t take much time; so, commit to doing it every day. Thin to tape-size, waxed or unwaxed, flavored or unflavored … any of these will do the job, so find the kind that works for you and keep it handy. If you prefer, use flossers — small segments of floss attached to plastic sticks, available at most drug stores. Many find that angled flossers aid in cleaning those hard-to-reach spaces at the back of the mouth.


Don’t forget to swish and spit. Water washes away any remaining food particles and germs. For a really clean mouth use a mouth rinse. There are many mouth rinses on the market and not all are created equal. Some help to loosen plaque and tartar prior to brushing. Others kill germs and freshen breath when used after brushing. Some simply mask foul odors with a minty taste and smell. Others use fluoride to prevent tooth decay. Read the labels and talk to your dentist to decide which is right for you.

Chew Gum

Here’s the one area where maybe Mom and Dad were wrong … sort of. IF the gum is sugar-free gum it can actually help to prevent cavities by stimulating the production of saliva — your mouth’s natural cleansing solution — and loosening food particles from the teeth. Particularly beneficial are brands containing the natural sweetener xylitol, which has been shown to inhibit bacterial growth in the mouth.

Contact Us at Dr Curtis Roy & Associates DDS in Lafayette, La

Healthy people should visit the dentist twice each year for oral exams and professional cleanings. Your dental professionals are trained to spot oral health problems early, before they become serious. Plus, they can do a more thorough cleaning job than you can achieve by yourself at home. If you have problems or questions between visits, never hesitate to call your dental office. Helping you keep up good dental health all throughout the year should be their goal.

NOTE: The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.