Your oral health & the significance of prevention

Your oral health & the significance of prevention

The ultimate form of medicine is educating people how not to need it.

This approach to prevention cannot be overstated in clinical dentistry, where the best restorations in the mouth are no restorations, or merely our own natural dentition.

If you’re not brushing properly, localized and systemic problems are likely to follow. The most common dental diseases are cavities, tooth decay and gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontal disease. These types of dental problems occur over time, so with proper dental hygiene these diseases can be mostly prevented.

Brush your teeth

Tooth brushing should be done two times per day, morning and night, after breakfast and before bedtime.

Tooth brushing should be done for 2-3 minutes each time on all surfaces of the teeth that can be cleaned. Electric brushes are clinically proven to be more effective in removing bacteria from your teeth when brushing.

Only a pea-size amount of toothpaste is needed each time you brush your teeth, and because dental plaque is a very lotion-like texture, you don’t have to scrub hard to remove it—small brush-like strokes sweeping from the gums outward to the tooth will suffice.

And floss, too

Flossing cleans the gap between your teeth that is occupied by your gums known as the interproximal spaces, or those hard to reach spots between your teeth.

Flossing should be done at least once per day before bedtime to cavities between your teeth.

Mouth rinses

Mouth rinses are also helpful in removing bacteria from your mouth.  Use a mouth rinse, such as Listerine, Scope, etc., for 15-30 seconds after you wake up in the morning to freshen your breath as well as an oral antiseptic in removing bacteria.

Oral rinses can also used at night for 15-30 seconds after brushing and flossing prior to bedtime to help eradicate more harmful bacteria.

Don’t forget to visit

Be sure to see your dentist or dental hygienist at least twice a year for preventive dental exams and prophylaxis (dental cleanings). If you’re dealing with more complicated dental issues, you may need to see the dentist, dental hygienist or gum specialist (periodontist) more than two times per year.

If you have questions or don’t have a dentist you see regularly, call us at Marshall Dentistry & Oral Surgery at 304-691-1247.


Ethan Lafferty, DDS

Dr. Lafferty is a graduate of the West Virginia University School of Dentistry and a resident dentist at Marshall Dentistry & Oral Surgery.