Whether it’s already warm where you live or still feels like winter, you’re probably thinking about balmy breezes, longer evenings, and spring cleaning. And as you get your home in shape for spring, don’t forget your teeth! If you haven’t seen your dental hygienist lately, now is the perfect time to book an appointment.
How Important is Your Teeth Cleaning Routine?
Regular dental checkups and cleanings prevent many dental health issues, from cavities to tooth loss. It’s important to see your dentist for preventive care as often as they suggest, typically twice a year.
During the checkup, your dentist will inspect your mouth for signs of cavities, tooth decay, gingivitis, and other dental problems. They may also perform X-rays to help detect tooth decay and other problematic symptoms that aren’t visible on the surface.
Most routine dental exams conclude with a thorough cleaning where your dental hygienist removes plaque buildup and polishes away stains that’ll leave your pearly whites glistening. Your dentist or hygienist may also provide at-home cleaning tips and answer any questions you may have about your oral health. Regular preventative checkups, cleanings, and good oral health practices at home make you much less likely to need costly treatments intended to restore or replace decaying, weak teeth.
Clean Up Your At-home Oral Care Routine With These 7 Teeth Cleaning Tips
Always follow your dentist’s advice regarding at-home hygiene. Below are some tips that help most people keep their teeth and gums in top shape.
1: Be kind to your teeth – You can – and should – remove food debris and just-forming plaque by brushing gently. Overly aggressive brushing can damage tooth enamel, potentially resulting in tooth decay and gum disease. And enamel has no living cells, so – unlike dentin, the living, hard substance under your enamel which can heal itself if injured- the body cannot regenerate or repair damaged enamel.
2: Take your time – A quick brushing or a swish of mouthwash isn’t going to ward off dental disease. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth for two minutes two times a day, plus flossing at least once a day. Ask your dental hygienist for tips on how to brush and floss effectively.
3: Don’t brush right after a meal – Tooth enamel can be in a weakened state right after you eat, especially if your meal includes acidic foods or drinks. You can safely rinse your mouth with water right after a meal, but wait at least 30 minutes after eating before brushing to allow enamel time to toughen up again.
4: Floss – Flossing properly is essential to your oral health because it helps remove harmful plaque bacteria from areas where your toothbrush simply can’t reach. These bacteria cause tooth decay (cavities) and gum disease—and if not cleared from tooth surfaces regularly, they harden into a tough coating called tartar which is a primary cause of gum disease.
5: Clean your dentures gently – Your dentures aren’t made of the same tough stuff that your teeth are, so you need to be gentle. Use non-abrasive cleaners (think basic, unscented liquid soap or products made specifically to clean dentures instead of standard toothpaste) and very soft brushes – a child’s toothbrush can be a great choice.
6: Know how to brush with braces – your dentist may advise using an interdental toothbrush (or proxabrush) which looks like a small pipe cleaner, with bristles all around and a grip on the end. It’s small enough to get in between your teeth and your braces to clear out food and debris.
7: Keep your retainer clean – your retainer needs more than a quick daily rinse to stay free of the bacteria that can cause tooth decay, gum disease, and mouth odors. Do use a soft brush and soap to keep your retainer clean, don’t boil it!
Don’t Skip Dental Care This Spring!
We all know that postponing regular dental checkups and professional cleanings is a really bad idea. Yet we still manage to convince ourselves that we can skip a year or two with no repercussions. And many of us were unable to get non-emergency care during the pandemic. Now we want to get back on track with regular dental care, but budget may be a concern.
The good news is that with a dental savings plan, you can save 10-60% on the majority of dental care, from basic preventive care to more expensive treatments. If you’d like to learn more about how dental savings plans work, please reach out to us at 1-833-735-0399.