The Basic Techniques of Dental Care
At a young age we are taught, or should be, how to properly care for our oral hygiene. Dental care is a part of everyday life and a major issue to some. Let’s be honest, most of us are pretty self conscious of our breath especially when you are chatting with that good looking girl or guy or interviewing for a job. First impressions are everything in today’s society so why not take care of something you can control?
Some people will rely on that yearly, or twice a year, visit to the dentist to clean up their bad habits, but that simply is not enough. Sure, your standard dental office will have the best dental equipment, but you can ensure that those visits will be less painful and traumatic by practicing good dental habits.
Oral health all begins with brushing your teeth. It is recommended that you brush twice a day, typically in the morning and before you go to bed at night. Depending on how often you snack, you may need a third. Take your time and be thorough.
You will want to use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush is recommended by the American Dental Association.
Your toothbrush should be replaced every three to four months or sooner if your bristles are frayed. An aging toothbrush will be a disservice to your teeth and gums.
Use proper technique. You should hold your toothbrush at a slight angle (approximately 45 degrees) and brush with back and forth motions. In addition to the outside, be sure to brush the inside and chewing surfaces of your teeth as well as your tongue. Also, avoid violent or harsh scrubbing which will irritate your gums (I am very guilty of this).
Wait at least 30 minutes to brush your teeth after consuming acidic foods and beverages. The acids weaken tooth enamel and brushing too soon can cause damage to the enamel.
Flossing can reach tight places that your toothbrush cannot. As annoying and tedious as it is, flossing should be performed daily with proper technique.
You will want to guide your floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion – never snap the floss to your gums. Curve the floss into a C shape against one tooth and slide it into the space between the tooth and the gum. While holding the floss tightly against the tooth, move the floss away from the gum with up and down motions. Repeat this method for each tooth, doing so one at a time, and do not forget to floss behind your last tooth.
In addition to regular brushing and flossing, you should also consider using an antimicrobial mouth rinse. Mouthwash helps reduce plaque buildup on your teeth and also freshens breath. CHA-CHING!
Finally, there is the dentist. I mentioned earlier how some people rely too heavily on their dentist visits and that they are not enough by themselves, however, that is not to say they are not highly necessary. A trip to the dentist can be that friendly (painful) reminder that you need to do a better job. Not to mention they may notice symptoms of oral health problems that you do not. Schedule dental appointments once or twice a year and be sure to contact them if you find any oral issues (swollen/red gums, loose permanent teeth, sensitivity, changes in teeth alignment, etc.)
In the end, oral health care starts with you. Invest in the necessary dental equipment and use proper techniques to ensure you are giving your mouth all it needs. And never overlook your dentist. They may come off as evil sometimes, or all the time, but they are only helping you. Now stop reading and go floss – I know you missed a day or two.…