If you’re like most people, you dread the idea of your six month check up with the dentist. There’s nothing worse than fearing a new cavity. Even worse is having to explain to the dentist why your dental health has gotten worse.
To ensure your dental check ups are a breeze, you’ll need to practice proper at-home dental care.
Did you know that 91% of adults in the U.S. have cavities? What’s even more alarming is that 96% of adults suffer from tooth decay.
Don’t become one of the statistics! Take your dental health into your own hands by setting a routine and sticking to it.
Keep reading for a 6 step oral care routine to make your next dental check up a breeze.
1. Brush, But Not Too Much
Build up of bacteria between the teeth can cause decay and gum disease. To keep your teeth healthy, brush and floss twice a day.
But, there is a fine line between brushing and brushing too much.
Brushing more than twice a day can cause your gums to recede. Over-brushing can also cause tooth sensitivity, as the enamel on your teeth will start to thin.
Aside from over-brushing, you’ll also want to avoid brushing too hard.
While you want to get rid of all those food particles and bacteria, abrasive brushing can be painful. To get the most out of your dental routine:
- Brush for at least two minutes
- Brush your gum
- Brush when you wake up and before bed
- Use circular motion
If you want to ensure your brushing technique is correct, ask the dental hygienist at your next dental check up.
2. Use the Right Toothbrush
Brushing will not bear the right results if your toothbrush is all wrong.
You should use a soft or medium-bristled brush that is multi-tufted. The head of the brush should be small enough to move around in your mouth.
Want to make brushing effortless? Suffer from arthritis?
If so, purchase a power toothbrush. These brushes are designed with heads similar to those used at the dentist’s office.
Manual toothbrushes should be replaced every three months. The same goes for replacing brush heads for a power toothbrush.
Worn of overly soft bristles mean it’s time for a replacement.
3. Choose the Right Toothpaste
One of the most important factors is to look for an American Dental Association (ADA) seal.
For a well-rounded toothpaste, choose one offers tartar-control and is anti-cavity. You’ll also want to find a toothpaste with fluoride. This strengthens tooth enamel.
Have you ever taken a sip of a hot or cold beverage and felt a shooting pain in your teeth? If so, a desensitizing toothpaste may be ideal.
4. Floss Once a Day
Not flossing can lead to an anxiety-filled dental check up.
Brushing only removes so much plaque and bacteria. If you want a healthy mouth, cleaning between your teeth is a must. Floss gets rid of the bacteria that can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
Do your gums bleed when you floss? If so, you may have periodontal disease or gingivitis.
It’s also a telltale sign that you don’t floss as often as you should.
If your gums continue to bleed, a trip to the dentist is warranted.
5. Use Mouthwash
A high-quality mouthwash does more than just freshen your breath. To be prepared for your next dental check up, find a mouthwash that is anti-cavity and germ killing.
When choosing a mouthwash:
- Look for the ADA seal
- Find one that offers plaque control
- Ensure fluoride is an ingredient
- Choose depending on your tooth/mouth sensitivity
- Be aware of alcohol as potential ingredient
If you want to whiten your teeth, a regimen of whitening toothpaste and mouthwash can help achieve a brighter smile.
6. Drink Lots of Water
Drinking soda and juice tastes good, but it coats your teeth in sugar. Sugar is the perfect breeding ground for cavity-causing bacteria.
Sweet stuff aside, sodas also contain acids that eat away at enamel. This weakens your teeth and leaves them vulnerable to decay.
To maintain your dental health, drink plenty of water. Water helps wash away leftover food and dilutes acids.
Water also keeps dry mouth at bay. A dry mouth is more prone to bacteria growth. This can cause tooth decay as well as bad breath.
To ensure proper hydration, drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.
7. Avoid Bad Oral Habits
Do you bite your nails? Have you ever used your teeth to open a package? Do you grind or clench your teeth when you’re angry?
These habits, along with others such as smoking, put your dental and oral health at risk.
To best prepare for your upcoming dental check up, be aware of your oral habits. If you clench when you sleep, your dentist may provide a mouthguard.
If you’re a smoker, your dentist may recommend a cessation program.
At Home Dental Health: Wrap-up
Taking care of your teeth between dental check ups is a must. This includes creating a routine and sticking to it.
Remember, your oral and dental health impact your overall health.
Poor dental health puts you at risk for heart disease and even respiratory infections.
Are you due for your six month check up? If so, you’ll want to schedule an appointment.
Choose Us for a Stress-free Dental Check Up
Only a dentist can determine the true health of your teeth. Pearly whites aside, a dentist can also diagnose any problems before they become serious.
Need a dentist in the New Braunfels area? If so, Ideal Dentistry is the dental office for you.
We offer a variety of dental services, including deep cleaning, implants, crowns, and even treatment for teeth grinding at night!
Now’s the time to take hold of your dental health.
Contact our office today to schedule an appointment. Remember, a beautiful smile is a healthy one.