Recent figures report that almost half of all Americans over age 30 show signs of gum disease, and more than 90 percent of adults have some level of tooth decay. Those are two very good reasons to keep your mouth healthy and happy. And it goes without saying that oral hygiene starts with brushing your teeth two times a day, but it shouldn’t end there. Check out our tips for always taking care of your teeth, even when you don’t have a toothbrush handy.
1. Successful brushing is in the details.
We all know the standard — brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day. However, all brushes and toothpastes are not created equal, and the technique is important. To optimize your brushing, choose a soft-bristled brush that fits your mouth well and toothpaste that contains fluoride. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle, use a circular motion and don’t push too hard.
Creating Smiles Team Tip: Don’t rinse with water or use mouthwash right after you brush, because it can wash away any of the concentrated fluoride that is left over.
2. Floss once a day.
Make it a goal to answer yes (truthfully!) when your dentist asks if you floss. Ideally, you should floss after every meal, but one solid flossing a day is good too. The best time to floss is before you brush your teeth — it loosens the stuck-in particles that the toothbrush can then scrub away. If you don’t like traditional flossing, consider alternatives that still get the job done, like flossing sticks.
3. Keep sugar-free gum at your desk.
Keep sugar-free gum at your desk for a quick post-lunch refresher that’s a lot quicker and less obvious than standing in the office bathroom brushing your teeth. It will freshen your breath for any afternoon client meetings and give you a little pick-me-up.
Creating Smiles Team Tip: You should drink a glass of water after eating. It can help to clean your mouth and keep you hydrated!
4. Avoid sticky, sugary foods.
Good oral hygiene isn’t just about cleaning. What you eat and drink affects your oral health as well. Soda, sticky candies and other sugary treats can get stuck between your teeth, and they all work quickly to form plaque and cause tooth decay. Instead, choose whole fruits and vegetables and dairy products.
5. Visit your dentist.
Even if you follow every oral hygiene routine perfectly, it’s still important to see your dentist regularly for cleaning and exams. Especially as we age, our teeth and gums can become more susceptible to decay and other declines. Regular check-ups and screenings can help find problems beneath the surface.
Creating Smile Team Tip: If you find dental visits uncomfortable or scary, choose a dentist that provides amenities to make you feel more relaxed and comfortable. At Creating Smiles, your checkup comes complete with blankets, and neck pillows, and even headphones you can use with your smartphone. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.