Part of a good dental hygiene routine is making sure you’re seeing the dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning. Part of a GREAT dental hygiene routine is making sure you are taking care of your teeth and gums between dental visits!
Taking proper care of your teeth in between visits to the dentists at Trillium Dental can help prevent problems and avoid costly repairs and procedures. So, don’t wait until it’s almost time to see the dentist to start flossing or taking proper care of your teeth!
Here are a few ways you can practice good oral hygiene between dental visits.
Focus on Daily Care
It may sound repetitive but the old staples are staples for a reason. The most important part of your oral health is daily care. This means:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day
- Floss regularly
- Use mouthwash to control plaque and keep your breath fresh
You might be nodding your head because you already know that you should be doing these things, but they worth repeating in case you’ve let your daily care routine slip.
Good oral health needs to go beyond brushing and flossing every day so here are a few, less well-known, tips for taking care of your teeth between dental visits.
A healthy diet is a very important part of oral health for kids, teens, adults. Avoiding sugary snacks and drinks isn’t just important when you’re young, but for your whole life. The trick is to start teaching about the best and worst foods at an early age.
Of course, we all know that sticky and sugar-filled snacks and sodas aren’t good for our waistline, but they’re also bad for our teeth. And, sometimes the bad stuff can be disguised as healthy. Fruit juices, while a better choice than soda, are often full of added sugar and can be harsh on your teeth. If little ones are drinking juice all day, it can quickly decay their teeth and lead to bad habits down the road. For daily drinking, no matter the age, water is always the best choice — just be careful about carbonated water with added sugary flavor!
Some of the worst foods for your teeth include:
- Carbonated drinks (not just soda!)
- Potato chips
For snacks, stick to fruits with low natural sugar like apples or bananas. Nuts and cheese are also great options.
Smoking and tobacco aren’t just bad for your overall health, they can wreak havoc on your gums, and teeth. Did you know that smoking reduces the blood flow to your gums which can cause and hide the symptoms of gum disease? Smoking makes you three times more likely to have gum disease than a non-smoker. You’re also more likely to lose teeth. Yikes!
- Stain your teeth
- Cause bad breath
- Cause oral cancer
- Dull the taste of food
- Cause gum disease
- Cause infections
This doesn’t just mean cigarettes but also chewing tobacco and other tobacco products. So, we don’t mean to sound like your mother, but smoking is bad for your health!
Watch Your Mouth
When we say watch your mouth, we don’t mean your language! Checking your mouth regularly for sores that aren’t healing is a great way to avoid infection and possible issues in the future. Frequent sores or irritation can be a sign of something worse so if you notice anything unusual, make sure to get in to see your dentist as soon as possible. The earlier mouth problems are caught, the better. Sores and cuts that don’t heal are particularly common if you smoke.
Wear Protective Gear
Kids, teens, and adults that play sports should be aware of what could happen to their mouth or teeth if they aren’t wearing the right protection. While there are some obvious sports that might be more dangerous for your teeth like football and hockey, it’s important to wear the right gear when skateboarding, playing volleyball, soccer, basketball, or any sport where contact with another person or the ground is possible.
Start From The Beginning
Good oral health habits should start from day one. Just because your newborn has teeth that will eventually fall out, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t start good oral health habits right away. When taking care of your baby’s teeth, consider these tips:
- Start by cleaning them with a clean wet washcloth and use a child’s toothbrush when they are bigger
- Don’t let them fall asleep with a bottle, this can lead to “baby bottle tooth decay”
- Start going to the dentist at one year old
Replace Your Toothbrush
A good toothbrush is important and making sure you’re replacing your toothbrush when needed plays a big part in your oral health. There’s a reason you get a toothbrush whenever you go to the dentist because you should be replacing your toothbrush every three months or so or as soon as the bristles start to splay or look worn. You also want to make sure you’re using a brush with soft bristles.
If a regular dentist visit isn’t a part of your oral healthcare plan, give us a call and set up your first visit today. Our Lansing dentists are ready to get you on the right path to oral health. 517.485.3444.