You know we enjoy seeing your and your family’s smiling faces in our dental chairs. We really do. But as much as we want you to come in for your twice-yearly checkups, we really don’t want to see you more often than that. And, we’re guessing, the feeling’s probably mutual! It’s not that we don’t love you. But if you are coming in between regular cleanings, that means you are having a problem with your mouth.
Good preventive care is as much about taking care of your teeth and gums at home as it is about visiting the dentist twice each year. Follow these tips to keep your family’s mouths in tip-top shape. Then call Edgewood Dental Care of Edgewood, KY at (859) 474-7830 to schedule those all-important checkups.
Brush Regularly and Brush Correctly
This may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning because it is just so important. Brush your teeth at least twice per day, every day. Teeth should be brushed for a full two minutes using small circular motions, with the brush held at a 45-degree angle toward the gumline. Brush thoroughly, but gently, as scrubbing teeth too hard can erode the gums and damage tooth enamel. It’s also important to brush your tongue. This gets rid of nasty bacteria that can lead to decay, gum disease, and bad breath. When you are finished brushing, rinse your toothbrush well and store it in the open where it will dry thoroughly. Be sure to replace the toothbrush every few months or whenever the bristles become damaged or frayed. Use toothpaste that contains fluoride. This mineral helps harden the tooth enamel, protecting it from decay-causing bacteria.
Don’t Forget to Floss
Make a habit out of flossing every day — and preferably after every meal. Proper flossing not only dislodges bits of food stuck between the teeth, but it stimulates the gums and helps remove plaque. When flossing, hold the string taut against each side of the tooth. Use a fresh section of floss when you move on to the next tooth.
Ditch the Tobacco Products
Smoking, as you know, is terrible for your health. And it has several negative consequences for your oral health in particular. Smoking and chewing tobacco will stain your teeth an unattractive yellow color, for starters. Tobacco users are much more likely to suffer from gum disease, which erodes gums and the underlying bone, eventually leading to tooth loss. They are also at a higher risk of developing oral cancer.
Purge Your Kitchen
Ditch the sugary drinks and foods that lead to tooth decay. Bad beverages include soda, fruit juices, and flavored milks. Encourage your children to drink water or white milk. Sweet, chewy snacks and treats — like fruit snacks, fruit rollups, taffy, gummy candies, and soft granola bars — are not only packed with sugar, but they get lodged in the teeth and create the perfect environment for bacteria.
Stock Your Kitchen
Buy foods that boost your oral health. A few superstars include:
- Cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products. These are packed with enamel-strengthening calcium. The good bacteria in yogurt can help push out the bad bacteria in your mouth. Just be sure to buy yogurt with no added sugar.
- Leafy green vegetables also contain calcium, plus they are rich in other nutrients that benefit your teeth and overall health.
- Carrots and apples contain beneficial fiber. When you crunch and chew them, you stimulate saliva production, which helps keep your mouth clean.
And don’t forget to drink lots of water! It’s important to stay hydrated, of course, but water has the added benefit of rinsing out your mouth between brushing sessions. So make a habit out of drinking lots of H2O at home and carrying a reusable water bottle when you’re on the go.
Follow these tips, and you have the best chance of ensuring your teeth and gums remain healthy in between dental visits. And we look forward to seeing you at our Edgewood, KY office every six months for your regular checkups.