While it’s important that you get a professional cleaning and exam at our office twice per year, that’s only, well, twice per year. There’s a long stretch of time between appointments when your dental care is completely in your hands. That’s why it’s so vital that you establish a routine of meticulous oral hygiene and follow it every day. Don’t take shortcuts. Don’t let it slide. If you do it right at home, the less likely we will find oral health issues like cavities, gum disease, and other problems at your next visit.
If your 6-month checkup at Dr. James C. Ross is not yet in the books, call our Novi, MI office at 248-697-2487 or request an appointment online.
Don’t Just Brush, Brush Right
When we have a routine that we’ve been doing every day since childhood, it’s easy to get sloppy and just go through the motions. Or tell ourselves that it’s okay to skip it — just this once. But brushing your teeth well is critical for keeping bacteria, plaque, and tartar at bay and it’s not okay to let it slide (even just this once).
- Brush twice a day.
- Brush for a full two minutes each time (set a timer if you must).
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
- Reach all surfaces of the teeth, including the backs.
- Don’t brush too hard, as this may damage your gums and wear away your tooth enamel, making you more susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay.
- Don’t forget to brush your tongue, which harbors bacteria!
Floss Daily and Use Mouthwash
It’s important to floss every day. This good habit not only dislodges food particles stuck in your teeth, it also helps clean your tooth enamel of nasty bacteria and plaque.
- Use about 18 inches of floss. Wind it around your middle fingers.
- Hold the “active” area of floss between your thumbs and forefingers.
- Floss between each tooth, carefully rubbing the sides of the teeth and gently cleaning below the gum line.
- Use a clean section of floss when you move on to the next tooth.
Mouthwash helps rinse out your mouth and kills harmful bacteria. Look for a product that’s fortified with fluoride, which is a mineral that helps strengthen your tooth enamel.
Drink Lots of Water
If you’ve gotten into the habit of drinking soda, sports drinks, or juices, switch them out for good old water. Sweet beverages coat your mouth with a layer of sugar, which feeds the destructive bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. Diet sodas aren’t much better, as they contain acids that wear down the tooth enamel.
If possible, get a reusable water bottle, fill it with tap, and carry it around with you all day. Tap water is ideal as in most municipalities it’s fortified with tooth-friendly fluoride.
Follow these tips, and you have the best chance of keeping your teeth healthy between preventive dental visits. To get your next one scheduled, call Dr. James C. Ross at our Novi, MI office at 248-697-2487 or request an appointment via our online form.