We can’t help it, we all want a beautiful, opalescent grin. And with cosmetic dentistry that has become both effective and affordable, who can blame us?
More important, however, and not mutually exclusive, is having a healthy smile. When considering that complications such as gum disease are associated with a host of other health issues involving your heart and brain, here are four tips for keeping that smile healthy–and beautiful.
Don’t be embarrassed. Studies show that a significant number of adults never learned how to floss properly, some ignoring it altogether. If this is you, stop what you’re doing and floss.
Flossing is critical to your oral health because it removes plaque and food particles from places where toothbrushes can’t reach. Most important of these places is the gum line, where build-up can lead to periodontal disease, which can become a serious complication.
Proper technique requires about fifteen inches of floss wrapped around each middle finger. From there, keep the floss taut and gently insert between your teeth, carefully curving around the base of each tooth and dipping beneath gum line periodically.
It’s also important to remember to use clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth.
Along with flossing, you should brush your teeth twice a day. Proper technique calls for using a soft brush with rounded nylon bristles and making gentle circular motions at a 45-degree angle to your gum line. Do this for a full two minutes, careful not to miss the crevices behind your front teeth or your tongue, and afterward don’t forget to rinse your toothbrush.
The American Dental Association recommends switching your brush every three to four months. Many of the bacteria from your mouth will thrive in a closed, moist environment, so be sure to store your toothbrush in open air.
Since the days of brushing our teeth with pig hair, our oral hygiene tools have become much more complicated. Before going out and spending a fortune, however, there are a few things to consider.
According to a study funded by Consumer Reports, the benefits of an electric toothbrush vs a standard toothbrush aren’t shown to be significant if using proper technique. When considering that the price could be up to ten times more expensive, this investment may not pay off with a return. But if you find you’re having difficulty cleaning your teeth with a manual brush, an electric toothbrush can be very helpful.
Water Flossers or “Oral irrigators” use a stream of pulsating water to remove plaque in-between teeth, and below the gum line. Because this is often the most common site of infection, they have shown to be up to 50% more effective at preventing gum disease than traditional floss.
“Good things come to those who wait” is not applicable to dental visits. Scheduling check-ups twice a year is one of the most effective ways to catch minor issues before they become big problems. Not only does early detection give you more treatment options, it could save you from costly procedures and missed time at work in the future.
Checkups are also a way to start the conversation about maintaining good oral health with your dentist. Developing a strong relationship with your dentist can improve your quality of care, and help guard you from major problems in the future.
If you’re looking for a dentist in Scripps Ranch that is focused on giving you the best dental care through developing quality relationships, please call (858) 271-1010 today for an appointment with Dr. G at Oasis Dental Arts.