The British Dental Journal just published their findings on the inconsistency of dental recommendations. Between the claims made by individual dental professionals, monolithic dental companies, and official organizations, it’s tough to find a common thread. This confuses patients, and leads some to get so exasperated that they give up on finding and following the best practices – ultimately seeing cavities and gingivitis. The whole debacle got us thinking: do you know what you should be doing for your teeth?
You only visit the dentist twice a year. Those exams make up a truly insignificant amount of time compared to the hundreds of hours you spend on oral care at home. While we will provide you with the educational tools and dental resources you need to effect positive change, you need to actually take action and make your teeth a priority.
With a clear understanding of the right oral hygiene for your own mouth, you have a much better chance of succeeding – and being declared cavity-free at your next appointment. We want that for every member of our community. And you don’t have to adhere to nitpicky recommendations that may not be ideal in order to see a healthy mouth. Below, we offer a few recommendations for universally effective oral hygiene, and tips on taking a proactive role in your dental health.
Making Your Brushing (And Flossing) Really Count
Even as members of the dental profession, we know that oral hygiene isn’t the most exciting part of your day. Why not make your brushing and flossing count, so that you can get it over with as quickly as possible? Of course, there’s a certain amount of time you need to spend to making your teeth cleaning effective. But, realistically, it’s no more than 10 minutes per day. Think about it: you brush your teeth 2-3 times a day for 2 minutes each session, and then floss once. The total commitment is not extreme – and it’s ten minutes that you can find in even the busiest schedule.
The number one consideration to take is to schedule regular exams, and pay attention to your dentist’s/hygienist’s feedback. Dr. Barton and our staff are the ones getting up close and personal with your teeth, and they can evaluate your personal need. Their recommendations directly correspond with the state of your teeth. If you’re showing signs of emerging gingivitis, you’ll need to improve your flossing and potentially use a mouthwash. If you have sensitive teeth, you’ll pick up some fluoride toothpaste. If you’re grinding your teeth, you’ll start wearing a mouth guard. No blog post can check on your teeth, so if you’re worried about something, stop reading and schedule an exam.
Dalton Family Dentist on Your Oral Hygiene
Some time-tested, tried and true oral hygiene tactics include:
- Brushing twice a day, and flossing once a day – If you clean your teeth consistently, plaque won’t be able to build up on your teeth and gums. Be sure to brush your teeth in the morning and before going to bed, and floss when you get a free moment (it’s usually best to do so before bed).
- Choosing the right times to clean your teeth – As we hinted above, there are better times to clean. Try to brush and floss after eating / drinking, to get food particles and acids out of your mouth. If you’ve just had something particularly acidic, wait a little before cleaning, as your enamel may have softened.
- Staying aware of your mouth – Above all else, pay attention to what’s up with your teeth. If you notice a change, discomfort, or are unsure about something, contact your dentist.
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