Here’s the interesting thing about the current dental program for most adults: typically, our dental habits are developed at an early age, and we maintain those habits throughout our adult lives. However, what if the things that were learned as a child weren’t quite right? Or, what if you slacked off during your teenage years and poor dental habits became ingrained in your current daily behaviors? Patients always need to stay in check with the best dental care techniques today; keep reading to improve your smile!
Obviously, you’re brushing daily (we certainly hope you are), but are you brushing twice a day, or are you that person lying on the couch at night who dreads the notion of having to drag themselves to the bathroom to tend to matters of hygiene? While the task may seem unimportant at the time, it’s crucial to clear away as much food debris as possible. Without this process, you’re inviting the bacteria in your mouth to a buffet of the leftover food you ate throughout the day. The bacteria in your mouth devour this feast and, as a result, release substances that are damaging to your overall dental health, which lead to the usual suspects: gum disease, cavities, tooth decay, etc.
Tongue In Cheek
Our tongues are often forgotten. After a long day and a good night’s sleep, there are an infinite amount of bacteria that have been having a party on your tongue and creating all sorts of damage. Properly cleaning the surface of your tongue is a must before you go to bed and the moment you wake up in the morning. While there are certain over-the-counter devices that can be used to clean the tongue thoroughly, ask your specialist at Sheehan Dental for recommendations on a dentist-approved toothbrush with a tongue scraper on the back.
Now, we know you’ve heard this one, but somehow, many of us still manage to ignore (or avoid) this importance of floss. Flossing is an excellent daily dental habit and a very effective means of removing stubborn plaque from places where your brush is less effective. While brushing twice daily is a must, flossing catches the plaque often left behind, the plaque that over time contributes to gum disease and tooth decay. Before heading to bed, make sure to carefully floss between the teeth and remove any particles that may be hiding away! Trust us, it does wonders for your dental health.
While you may be brushing twice a day, are you doing it correctly? Imagine realizing that, as an adult, you’ve been brushing your teeth improperly your entire life! Don’t feel bad; it happens. But how should one brush their teeth?
- Use only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste
- Brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle.
- Spend 2-3 minutes brushing your teeth. Time yourself!
- Make sure you’re brushing the outer, inner, and top surfaces of the teeth.
- Don’t forget the molars in the back. Molars need love too.
The benefits of a healthy diet extend to your teeth as well. Daily nutrition plays a key role in great dental care, including a diet rich in veggies, fruits, grains, and legumes. Of course, you want to limit your intake of sugary foods, as the residue from sugar tends to remain in the teeth and inflict acidic damage. Also, try refraining from eating too late. As we sleep, less saliva is produced in our mouths, thus diminishing our mouth’s ability to clean itself throughout the night.
Limit your intake of sodas, coffee, and alcohol—a great idea outside of the discussion of dental health—but high levels of phosphorus in addition to food coloring and high fructose corn syrup will wreak havoc on your pearly whites. Grab a tall glass of water instead. Drinking adequate amounts of water is not only good for your overall health, but also critical to aiding the creation of saliva, which helps with digestion, fends off tooth decay, and battles against germs. Yes, easier said than done, but your teeth will thank you later.
Go Soft On Them
You, like many, may assume that brushing harder and more frequently (more than twice a day) would be an awesome part of your dental regimen. Well, you’d be wrong. While our teeth are very hard and strong and your efforts to take care of your teeth are to be lauded, excessive and vigorous brushing have negative consequences: they lead to sensitive teeth and activate gum recession (leaving sensitive roots exposed), which promotes discomfort and infection.
Excessive and overzealous brushing affects a pretty significant portion of the population, with many causing unnecessary damage as a result. Plaque comes off of your teeth much easier than you think and doesn’t require the use of excessive force. Keep it to twice a day and be gentle.
Storage Is Crucial
After a vigorous brush, are you laying your toothbrush down on its side, allowing bacteria to grow and fester between the bristles? Do you run water over brush for a mere second or two before grabbing your coffee and hurling yourself out of the door and off to work?
Make sure that you’re taking good care of your dental equipment in addition to taking care of your teeth. Rest your toothbrush upright so that it has the opportunity to properly dry out, which helps avoid mold growth. Rinse your toothbrush properly to clean out all of the bacteria you just scrubbed out of your mouth.
Unbeknownst to many, the health of our teeth plays such an important role in our overall health. Dental issues will lead to a host of problems, including heart disease and massive infections. In other words, it’s absolutely worth your time to invest in creating a daily system for taking great care of your pearly whites.
When you do the work and serve your teeth, they’ll serve you back. Employ each of the practices you’ve read above and make sure everyone in your household is doing the same. Of course, at least twice a year, you should be stopping by Sheehan Dental for annual check-ups and cleaning. Our team would be honored to become your partner in improving and brightening your smile.
Maintaining and improving your oral health is our main priority. Whether it be during your check-ups, treatment, or while you are at home, our team is devoted to ensuring that your dental health stays in perfect condition. Contact Sheehan Dental online to make an appointment or visit our location today.