Schools have reopened in the Palm Harbor area. Learning and education are back in full force after summer. It’s natural to be a bit rusty with studying after structure was largely thrown out with vacation. Classes, homework, and even regular work are not the only routine that people have to get back into – they need to do the same for their oral health.
It can be easy to let things fall by the wayside. That’s not what you want to have happen with your teeth though – you only get one set of adult teeth and you don’t want to be having problems with them. Fortunately, we at VIP Dental are glad to give you tips on what you need to do to keep your mouth looking all healthy and fresh.
Brushing Your Teeth
When people think of oral care, “brushing your teeth” is the first thing that usually pops to mind. This is the main part of getting food particles and plaque off your teeth, right? The big issue here is that people then tend to do it completely incorrectly – whether it’s using improper technique, not doing it often enough, or spending too little time doing it. They may brush for like thirty seconds on the top and thirty seconds on the bottom while not really monitoring what areas they are hitting.
This will all build up and ultimately allow bacteria to form on the teeth and start the decay process. Don’t do that. Spend two minutes brushing your teeth. You may have to set your alarm just a bit earlier to get that time in. Focus on each quadrant as you brush, whether with a manual or an electric one. Zero in on each tooth as the brush hits it. Get both the front and back of the tooth – people often miss the back and that’s where plaque builds up/. Don’t do it too hard, you could wind up damaging both your teeth and gums.
Flossing is Important, Too
Yes, flossing IS important. But it still tends to fall off the radar when it comes to taking care of teeth and gums. No, brushing alone is not enough. You need to floss once a day, preferably at night, since that will get rid of food particles and not allow them to remain overnight. If you do this, you will have much more pleasant dental visits, since there will be a lot less bleeding.
Walk into a drug store to get some floss and you may be bowled over at the sheer number of flosses available. Pick whatever kind works for you, whether it’s waxed or unwaxed. Pull about 18 inches out and wrap it around each index finger. Use the proper form – you are not a logger that is trying to bring down a tree, so don’t use a jagged up-and-down motion. Instead, have the floss follow along the form of the tooth and wrap it around in a ‘c’ shape.
Dentists can also tell if you tried to do this three days before your appointment. So be sure to start well in advance. There may be some bleeding at first, but it should stop with regular daily flossing.
Other Things to Do
Here are some other things to keep in mind:
- Avoid snacking too often or having acidic foods (like fruit) at night.
- Make it a habit to brush your teeth RIGHT before bed. Otherwise your mouth may dry out overnight and build up bacteria.
- Scrape your tongue each morning too… that can help your digestion.
- Mouthwash is NOT a substitute for brushing your teeth. There’s no way you can wash out every food particle. Mouthwash is a complement to tooth brushing and flossing… NOT a replacement.
- Only use things approved by the American Dental Association. They have been proven to work.
- Stick to twice-yearly dental visits.
It really only takes a little bit of effort to take care of your teeth, even if you have a large family that has one bathroom. Bacteria and tooth decay don’t make exceptions for busy people. Sit down and think of a plan that allows for everyone to brush and floss their teeth properly… and leave in a little extra room for any possible life emergencies.
When you think about it, it’s such a small amount of time that’s needed and you get such a big reward – healthy teeth and gums. This can play a big part in your overall health. Slack for too long and you could wind up needing expensive dental work, which will hurt both your wallet and your teeth. Then you’ll wish you paid attention to these lessons.
The staff at VIP Dental Center are more than glad to help you develop good brushing habits. If you live in the Palm Harbor area, give them a call to make an appointment today!