Everyone remembers their parents harping on them to make sure they’ve brushed their teeth before going to bed. It’s practically ingrained in our psyche. That, and the “every 6 months” mantra we’ve come to associate with dropping in on the dentist.
Plus, with some of our busy schedules, checking in twice per year may trim down to once, or not at all. Throw the forgetful nature into the mix and now you’re leaving those pearly whites dangling in the wind. Which is why everyone must learn to embrace simple tips, some easily done in a matter of two seconds or two minutes.
1. Brush like there’s no tomorrow.
Brush your teeth the minute you get up and the last seconds before bedtime. Waiting until the last possible minute you’re in bed to brush your teeth will keep you from eating a late snack, grabbing one last cigarette or using any other detractor against the teeth.
2. Avoid the dryness.
If you smoke, make sure you’re keeping your gums and teeth hydrated with a glass of water after each cigarette. The more you allow the gums and enamel to dry, the more inviting it can be for bacteria to stay for the long haul.
3. Water is your ally.
Incorporating a glass after meals and drinks is important for a number of reasons. It counteracts acid erosion of your teeth’s enamel after guzzling down soda, orange juice or highly acidic fruits. Think of if as fortifying the defenses that keep teeth as white and healthy as possible.
4. Invest in a trusted, ADA approved mouthwash.
Listerine has started to build some momentum from its earlier days (as has Crest), but unless given a prescription mouthwash, using ACT mouthwash is great for eliminating bad breath, restoring minerals to soft spots on the tooth and strengthening enamel.
*On a side note, most mouthwashes on the market are starting to change their ways and add key elements like ACT, so however one goes about selecting their preferred mouthwash, just try and compare the benefits before you buy.*
5. Floss. Floss. And floss some more.
I get it, flossing is not a favorite for many. Whether that’s because of the time it takes or the pain of pressing too hard against the gums, many people refuse to floss. Well, all I can say is, would you rather floss a couple times a week or not at all and have to deal with the infamous, tooth scraper, that dentists use during checkups? Didn’t think so.
6. Be alert to sensitive areas.
Some people are different than others when it comes to sensitive teeth. Some have it big, while others don’t. Regardless of how high or low one’s pain threshold is for tooth sensitivity, if there’s ever a moment where it’s constant, even after eating or drinking, it’s probably a good idea to get that checked out. There’s only so much Orajel can do to mask the problem, because if you’ve ever had that sensation where the tooth feels like it’s pulsating, it could be a a toothache or something much worse, like an exposed root.
7. Take preventative measures.
If you’re one of the large percentage of adults who never had a consult with an orthodontist as a child, it’s time. Misaligned teeth can cause a variety of health problems including speech impediments, TMJ, difficulty eating, gum disease and tooth decay, sleep apnea and grinding. Even if you’re not having any of these issues yet, it’s important to rule out the possibility of issues later on down the road.
Bi-yearly dental visits, just like your obligatory visits with the orthodontist when you were an adolescent, are recommended to us because sometimes no matter how much we adhere to brushing twice-a-day, using mouthwash judiciously and trying our best to avoid “stain-y” foods, there can still be problems with our teeth.
And that’s just a warm-up to keeping your teeth in check. Stay on track with the basics of teeth cleaning and keep an eye out for any indicators that tell you it might be time for a visit to the dental offices. Your pearly whites will thank you, soon enough.