7 Habits for Healthy Teeth at Home
October is officially Dental Hygiene month. If you’re not looking for new ways to take care of your teeth, you’ll never know if you’re doing it right. Let’s analyze your cleaning habits and come out of the month of Halloween with a better, brighter smile.
- Prevention is key
Even if we have the best dentist in the world, they will always tell us to keep brushing and flossing. Why is that? Shouldn’t our dentist want to see us? The answer is “yes and no”. It’s not fun to have to come in for regular cavity treatment or other extensive restorations, and no one likes to see anyone suffer from poor hygiene management. Plus, working on your teeth and giving yourself a better smile will motivate you to stay healthy in other areas of your life. Your oral hygiene becomes a part of that overall success.
- Professional cleaning
Our dentists do want to see us, but they want to provide a level of professional care that helps us along on our journey to a better and brighter smile. Only your dentist can tell you the areas you need to work on and if your cleaning regimen is helping. As well as this, the eyes of a professional dentist on your yearly x-rays is beneficial for spotting things you would never notice in the bathroom mirror.
- Reducing sugar intake
Reader’s Digest once said that “Soda is like taking a chainsaw to your teeth,” and nothing could be closer to the truth. Sugary soft drinks or acidic juices work to remove tooth enamel, which is your first line of defense against bacteria and cavities. Acidic foods also worsen your enamel over time, but sugar is the main culprit for gingivitis and cavities.
Most people who have seen a dentist in the last decade have heard of the importance of flossing, but do you know why? Only flossing gets those hard-to-reach places that a toothbrush won’t, even an electric one. For some individuals, it might even be a good idea to floss after every meal or snack, even if they don’t brush. Regardless of the schedule, flossing every time you brush is the key to clean teeth.
- Better care scheduling
Do you know when you’re supposed to come in for care? Every four months? Once a year? If it’s unclear to you, talk with your dentist about making a definitive care plan. Recommendations are one thing, but schedules are another. Commit to appointment scheduling based on your current habits and where you want to see yourself in the future.
- How to brush your teeth
This one might seem simple, but brushing your teeth the proper way gives you the benefit of a more thorough clean. Common mistakes include getting the wrong brush size, bristles that are too hard and improper technique. Remember the top three rules of brushing:
- Angle your toothbrush 45 degrees from your gumline
- Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste
- Brush in a circular motion towards the gumline, and repeat behind your teeth for at least two full minutes
It’s also important not to overbrush or brush too hard, as this can cause enamel erosion and receding gums over time.
- Whiten teeth naturally
There are a lot of products out there that claim to whiten teeth naturally, but none of them can do the job that regular brushing and visiting a dentist can. Plus, many whitening treatments are expensive and damaging to your enamel. Only your dentist can give you advice on how to whiten teeth, and even then, the results are in your hands, or more literally, your toothbrush!
The secret prevention medicine
No one wants to come in for treatment after treatment because we can’t be bothered for a few minutes before bed. We need to have healthy cleaning habits while also getting professional care to ensure that we’re on the right track. Instill this same value to other members of your family so that you’re not stuck footing thousands of dollars in repair work. We all know prevention is the best medicine, and visiting your dentist is the best way to ensure that you’re getting the correct dosage.