In New York, schools are cautiously re-opening. Kids are going back to learn a variety of subjects. People got rusty with studying over the course of the summer, coupled with a worldwide pandemic. Now it’s time to get back into a routine. The same can be said for taking care of your teeth. With each day blending into each other, it can be hard to remember the important things.
When it comes to taking proper care of our teeth, brushing our teeth should be at the forefront of our minds. It’s the most important part of the routine, after all. But the problem is that we tend to neglect it or give it far too short shrift when it comes to actually doing it. Many people take a few half-hearted swipes, not really thinking of what area they should be targeting or paying attention to how long they are doing it.
There is a time frame that should be adhered to each time – two minutes. Budget that time in. Get up five minutes earlier in the morning. Whether you are using a manual or an electric toothbrush, be sure to look at the parts of the mouth that you are targeting. Be sure to get both the front and back of the teeth since too many tend to only focus on the front and that leaves the back open for bacteria to form plaque and even tartar. Don’t brush too hard. That can damage both your enamel and your gums.
People either just completely neglect to do this, figuring that brushing is enough (it’s not) or they use the wrong technique, which either hurts a lot or is totally ineffective. If you properly floss, you will have some very healthy gums and your dental visits will be so much more smooth than if you just brush.
First of all, it doesn’t really matter what type you use – waxed or unwaxed. Just use the one that you like and do it properly. As for the actual flossing, you’re not supposed to pretend that you are a logger bringing down a tree. Floss along the tooth, and try to bring it around each tooth in a ‘c’ shape.
One final tip here – don’t try to hastily start a flossing routine three days before your dental visit. The dentist or hygienist will be able to immediately tell and you’ll get a gentle scolding.
Here are some other things to keep in mind:
- You should avoid doing things like snacking too often or eating acidic foods at night.
- Brush your teeth RIGHT before you go to bed. Otherwise you give your mouth too much chance to dry out overnight and build up bacteria.
- Scrape your tongue each morning too… that can really be a big aid when it comes to digestion.
- Don’t even think about just rinsing your mouth out with mouthwash as a substitute for brushing your teeth. There’s no way you can wash out every food particle. Mouthwash is a complement to tooth brushing and flossing… NOT a replacement.
- Make sure that you use things approved by the American Dental Association. They have been proven to work.
- See your dentist twice a year.
The fundamentals of taking care of your teeth are not that difficult. It can seem tough, especially for larger families that may share a single bathroom and time is limited. Still, bacteria and tooth decay don’t care how busy one is – they don’t make exceptions for one being time-starved. It’s simple – build a plan for each family member and coordinate a schedule. That way, everyone can wind up with glistening teeth and healthy gums.
It only takes a small adjustment on your part and the rewards can be great. But if you slack off for too long, then you could wind up in the dentist’s chair for even more expensive work. That can hurt both your teeth and your budget. Toothbrushes and toothpaste are inexpensive. Use them.
For many years Dr, Robert M. Trager, the JFK-LGA Dentist, has been helping patients get their teeth into the best possible shape. He will gladly teach you anything you need to know at your next appointment. Give him a call at 718-656-4747 today!