You’re probably vigilant about making sure your kids brush their teeth—but what about you? You don’t have to have children to remember the advice and warnings your pediatric dentist told you. Unfortunately, we often push dental care to the back burner. Remember: Preventative care and maintenance can save you a lot of pain and money down the road.
One of the biggest issues with oral hygiene is that it comes at an inconvenient time. You’re rushing to get ready in the morning, or you’re tired and just want to go to sleep. Make sure you plan oral care into your daily routine and make it a priority. Remember what kids are told about caring for their teeth, and you’ll be on the right track.
Not All Brushing is Equal
Brushing your teeth can mean a lot of things. You have to brush correctly and with the right toothbrush for you. This means brushing the outside and inside of each tooth at a 45 degree angle so that you’re brushing under the gums. We’ll recommend the right brand and softness for you.
It should take at least two full minutes for a solid brushing. This can seem like a really long time. Some parents put timers on for their children… maybe this same trick can work for you. It will soon become second nature, but just make sure you’re still brushing correctly and don’t zone out.
Flossing at least once a day is mandatory. When you come in for an appointment, we’re happy to instruct you on proper technique. It might seem unsavory, but if a particular place has an odor, that’s where you should be concentrating your flossing. If you bleed when you floss, don’t stop—that means you actually need flossing more.
Fluoride isn’t just for kids. If you live in a region where fluoride isn’t added to tap water, pick up a bottle of Act! mouthwash. It’s alcohol-free and gives you the protection you need.
The Biggest Tip Everyone Skips
Don’t miss your dental appointments. Even if you have healthy teeth and gums, you should see a dentist twice a year for cleanings/check-ups. Catching problems early is important. Many of us procrastinate setting our dental appointments, which can only make small problems large ones.
Even if you practice stellar dental hygiene, you’ll inevitably have at least one issue down the road that only a dentist can catch and help you with. While insurance can be expensive, it can get a whole lot more expensive to fix a problem than to prevent it.