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Proper dental habits are the key to lifelong dental health, but many patients don’t have the knowledge or resources to care for their smiles. We hope you are practicing these six rules already, but we encourage you to review them regardless:

1. Visit the dentist at least twice a year. Your dentist may determine if you need more frequent dental treatment, but on average you should schedule a dental checkup every six months to catch early signs of a dental problem.

2. Maintain a tooth-friendly diet. Reducing sugar, especially between meals, lowers your risk of tooth decay. We encourage you to choose tooth-healthy snacks like cheese, breadsticks, raw vegetables, crackers, and water.

3. Twice a day, use fluoride toothpaste to brush for two minutes. It’s especially important to brush before bed because saliva production decreases at night, making it unable to clean particles from your teeth.

4. Floss every day. While a toothbrush can only clean two-thirds of a tooth, flossing removes any remaining particles that wound up under the gums or between teeth.

5. Determine if you need an electronic toothbrush. Studies have shown that the small, oscillating head cleans your teeth more efficiently than a manual toothbrush, and many powered toothbrushes come with timers to ensure you brush for two full minutes.

6. Wait an hour after eating to brush your teeth. Eating sugary food produces acids in your mouth that soften the tooth enamel, and it takes your mouth about 40 minutes to neutralize these acids. Brushing too soon could eliminate particles of tooth enamel. If you want to speed up the acid neutralization by rinsing with fluoride mouthwash or water and chewing sugar-free gum.

Dr. Anthony Foster and our team would be happy to tell you more about caring for your smile. We invite you to call Foster Dental at 718-673-8060 today and schedule a time to see our dentist in Brooklyn, New York.