It’s spring and that means spring cleaning! Since we’re a dental office, the team at Overland Park Dentistry put together a spring cleaning list for your mouth. Here are the top six steps we recommend that our patients take to keep your mouth both clean and healthy.
Brush Your Teeth Properly
What’s the correct way to brush your teeth? The ADA (American Dental Association) recommends gently moving the toothbrush in circular motions.
- Brush near the gums to clean all of the plaque. Be sure to pay special attention to the molars that are in the very back of your mouth because they are harder to reach. Ignored plaque can harden and lead to gingivitis.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day, spending at least three minutes each time. With small children, setting a timer or humming a song while brushing may help them know what three minutes feels like.
- Don’t forget to brush before bed! Brushing at night is important because germs and bacteria have a solid eight hours of uninterrupted time to do their damage.
Brush Your Tongue
Your tongue is hanging out in your mouth all day, too. So naturally, it picks up bacteria and plaque. This can lead to bad breath, as well as be a gateway for moving plaque to your teeth.
Related Read: Taking a Look at Bad Breath: Causes & Solutions
Floss Every Day
Flossing does more than just remove food between your teeth. It also serves to stimulate your gums and reduce plaque. If you don’t floss often, your gums may bleed a little until they get used to it. That’s normal. Once they become accustomed to flossing every day, they won’t bleed anymore. We recommend using a floss pick. They make flossing easy and convenient, even on the go.
Choose the Right Equipment
Both your toothbrush and toothpaste should be ADA approved. Be sure to look for the label before purchasing an oral hygiene product. An ADA label lets consumers know that the product is safe for teeth and oral health.
Limit Foods That Are Bad for Your Teeth
It’s okay to eat acidic foods like wine, tea, coffee, fruit, and fruit juice. Just don’t eat or drink them regularly. Acid and sugar lead to tooth decay and cavities. If you cannot resist consuming sugar frequently, try to rinse your mouth with water after you are done to limit the amount of acid or sugar that stays on your teeth. If you chew gum, choose sugar-free varieties.
Schedule Dental Visits Twice a Year
There’s nothing like a good professional cleaning to make your mouth feel like new. Regular visits to your dentist, also known as preventative dentistry, will remove plaque, catch decay early, and spot any issues before they become major problems.
Follow these simple rules, and your mouth will be happy, your teeth will be healthy, and your breath will be fresher!