Are You Doing Everything You Can To Keep Your Teeth In Tip-Top Shape?
Read On To Learn A Few Great Tips For Healthy Teeth!
In my first few years as a dentist I had a patient named Susan – she was 33 years old. Her teeth were so stained and worn down that she was embarrassed to even come to my office, but she knew she needed help fixing her smile. The first thing I did was start her on a regular routine of daily oral hygiene – something that should have begun years ago. It turns out Susan never flossed, only brushed her teeth once a day, and hadn’t had an in-office cleaning in over 8 years!
Cavities, gum disease, stains, chips, cracks, and tooth decay are just some of the problems that can be caused by poor oral hygiene. If you want to avoid these problems (and avoid ending up like Susan) just follow these basic tips:
1. Brush at least two times per day and floss daily. This helps prevent the buildup of harmful plaque and bacteria on your teeth and in your mouth. Plaque can cause the earliest stage of gum disease, gingivitis, and can also lead to tooth decay. Bacteria can cause infections and halitosis, also known as bad breath.
2. Choose a good toothbrush and replace it every 2-3 months. Changing your toothbrush keeps the bristles on your toothbrush firm and more effective at eliminating plaque. That old, worn out toothbrush really isn’t doing much to clean your teeth, and it could actually be collecting bacteria, so change it often.
3. Avoid using toothpicks or other harmful objects. If used to clean your teeth, these types of instruments can inflame, irritate, or cut your gums, which may lead to infection or gum disease. Instead, try using an antiseptic mouthwash or an oral instigator to clean those places that brushing and flossing don’t cover.
4. Have your teeth cleaned in the dentist’s office at least every 6 months. If you use tobacco, you should have your teeth cleaned every 3 months to reduce the appearance of stains. A cleaning at the dentist’s office is much more thorough than your daily brushing, and it also gives us a chance to make sure you aren’t showing any signs of dental problems.
5. Immediately report any problems or unusual discomfort to your dentist. Most dental problems are not apparent until the later stages. It is best to have dental problems looked at early, so we can begin treatment. Common issues that many people overlook, but that you should promptly report to your dentist, include increased sensitivity to temperature, toothaches, puffy or red gums, headaches or pain in the jaw when you wake up, and sensitivity to pressure or chewing.
If you take anything from reading this newsletter, remember to brush twice a day, every single day and don’t skip! Plaque never stops attacking your teeth. And if you haven’t scheduled your 6 month cleaning, do it now by clicking here.
As I told Susan many years ago: a healthy smile starts at home with a daily routine of oral hygiene. Today Susan has a beautiful, glowing smile, which she proudly shows off. Get in the habit of doing everything mentioned above, and the same can happen for you!
Next week we’ll talk about choosing the right toothbrush and toothpaste – no simple task in today’s world. You’ll learn the pros and cons of soft, medium, hard, and electric toothbrushes, and we’ll also go over how to make sense of the active ingredients in your toothpaste.
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