When you go to the dentist every six months for a full examination and professional cleaning, you’re taking your oral health seriously. Your oral health influences your overall health, too, including your heart health.
Biannual exams don’t just make your teeth “prettier” by removing stains. They allow your dentist to check for warning signs of periodontal disease, oral cancer, and tooth loss. We also can then immediately begin therapies you need to keep your teeth, gums, and other oral tissues healthy.
At Full Circle Dental Care in Del City, Oklahoma, expert dentist Samuel Sigmon, DDS, considers you a full partner in your own oral health. That’s why we’ve prepared these tips to keep your dental care routine current. This quick refresher helps ensure years of trouble-free dental visits, fresh breath, and a healthy smile between appointments.
Update and care for your tools
No matter how much you love the color or feel of your toothbrush, you need to replace it every 3-4 months. Even when there’s no visible wear and tear, the tips of bristles may fray, trapping bacteria and damaging your gums at each use.
To save time, you might buy several brushes at once. Bulk buying may also save you money, and it can make switching out to a new brush as easy as tossing out the old and opening the new.
In between brush replacements, take care of the brush you have. Bacteria love moisture and darkness, so thwart them by storing your brush upright and out in the air.
Plaque is a sticky, bacteria-rich substance that forms on your teeth shortly after you eat. Ideally, you should brush or at least rinse after each meal to remove the plaque. Plaque that sits on the teeth for too long can harden into brown, crusty tartar, which irritates your gums and raises your risk for cavities.
To effectively remove plaque without damaging your enamel, be sure to use a soft-bristled brush and a light touch. Hold your brush so the bristles are at a 45-degree angle to your gum line, and use short, circular motions to scrub away food particles and plaque. Each tooth surface should get about 15 passes.
Be warned, however: It’s possible to brush too much. Overbrushing can prematurely erode tooth enamel and wear down gum tissue.
Proper flossing technique is also important to clear plaque effectively without damaging your gums. Work the floss gently between all of your teeth, including the back surfaces of the teeth farthest back.
When you eat sugar-rich foods — such as cane sugar, corn syrup, and even fruit juices — acids form in your mouth that can erode tooth enamel and cause cavities. Switch to healthier, sugar-free foods and whole fruits instead of juices.
When you cut back on sugary snacks and, especially sodas (which contain acids of their own), you lower your risk of cavities. Going sugar-free can also help you maintain a healthy weight and improve your overall well-being.
Automate your routine
The ideal brushing and flossing routine requires at least two minutes of brushing, twice a day, along with a daily flossing. Following this same routine daily makes brushing more sustainable.
Power-aided brushes can help ensure you’re brushing long enough while dramatically improving plaque removal. Also be sure to brush your tongue, or use a tongue scraper to remove food residue and bacteria.
Keep the schedule
We get it. Life can be busy, and sometimes dental appointments seem to be in the way. However, with modern diets, you’re facing a losing battle against plaque, even with the best home care routine. Without regular cleanings with Dr. Sigmon’s team, plaque and tartar accumulate and help gum disease establish itself.
Don’t cancel dental appointments. If you have to postpone, reschedule for your earliest convenience. You may think you do a good job at home and you’re fine missing an appointment or two, but it may well be that your sense of dental well-being exists because of your regular visits.
Restore your oral health by calling Full Circle Dental Care today or scheduling a consultation through our online booking system.