You probably know by now that you should be brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day. But is there anything else your dentist and dental hygienist want you to know about maintaining your oral health? Today we’re sharing four things that could make all the difference in feeling confident in your smile AND nailing your six-month checkups. These things can also help keep you from dental emergencies such as tooth pain from cavities and decay.
When was the last time you replaced your toothbrush? If you’re having trouble remembering, it’s probably time to do so. In fact, according to the CDC, you should change your toothbrush every 3-4 months. We also recommend changing it after you get sick. The truth is that a toothbrush with worn bristles may not only damage your gum line, and harbor yucky bacteria, but is simply unable to clean your teeth as well as a brush with fresh bristles. This could lead to bad breath and an increased risk of gingivitis or re-infection from being sick.
Is there a good reason to brush and floss your teeth before your dental appointment (aside from showing your dentist that you prioritize oral health)? Our answer might surprise you. Yes, it’s always a good idea to brush and floss your teeth before a dental appointment.
Think of it like driving your vehicle down a really muddy road. The attendants at a car wash will likely rinse off your car before proceeding with the automatic wash. Brushing your teeth before a dental appointment will help remove surface plaque. This can reduce irritation when your hygienist performs your cleaning and help reduce your time in the chair.
You probably already know that overly sweetened drinks can lead to tooth decay. But did you know that highly acidic drinks can damage your teeth? That’s right. A few common ingredients in popular energy drinks include taurine, caffeine, guarana and of course, lots of sugar! These ingredients mixed together with high sugar levels create a less than ideal environment for your oral health. These high levels of acid can weaken your enamel over time, causing your teeth to be more susceptible to tooth decay and cavities.
Swallowing can be both an active response and an automatic one. Many people find it hard to fight the urge to swallow when getting their teeth cleaned. That’s okay. It happens. However, dentists and dental hygienists use the suction tool for a reason. When your teeth are being cleaned, more than just spit builds up in the back of your mouth. There can be extra water and scaler that the hygienist is using to help clean your teeth. There can also be debris, tartar, and in some cases, blood from sensitive gums. Yuck! While all of this is fine to swallow, we use the suction tool so that you don’t have to.
If you find yourself fighting the urge to swallow at your next dental cleaning, let the hygienist know! They will appreciate the communication and the opportunity to make you more comfortable. In some cases, they may even let you hold the suction tool!
Have you booked your 2022 teeth cleaning appointments yet? Give us a call today to schedule (804) 794-4588. It’s important to maintain regular appointments to keep your pearly whites in optimal health, which is why we recommend coming in every six months for a cleaning and checkup with your Midlothian dentist.