You’ve heard the spiel before: Visit the dentist once every six months for cleanings and exams.
Most people know this piece of information, but they’re not always great about following it. A regular cleaning is a great time for us to review your mouth and assess any dental problem. Call us today at 661-418-5319 if you’re due for a cleaning. Essentially, these visits help us identify issues before they balloon into something bigger, scarier, and unfortunately, most expensive to fix.
That being said, you’re regular dental visits are only twice a year. And while we can repair a number of problems in your mouth, you’re on the frontlines. You’re the one who can prevent plaque, tartar, cavities, and gum disease … by just establishing and practicing a great oral hygiene routine.
Our Lancaster, CA dental team loves meeting new patients and providing ways for people to overcome smile problems or maintain a great smile. Here are 5 great ways you can maintain a beautiful smile outside of the dental office.
- Brush for two minutes at a time. Many people believe that it’s the intensity of the brushing that will clean your teeth. Resist this urge. Brush longer, not harder. Plaque is a soft material that is removed easily with proper cleaning. Brush your teeth for 2 minutes at a time — say 30 seconds for each quadrant of the mouth. If you don’t brush this long, try setting a timer or find a dental app to help you. You’ll notice that your teeth will feel cleaner, and you’ll have less plaque buildup to worry about.
- Clean the other 35 percent of the tooth. While brushing takes care of the tooth’s surface, there is an entirely different section of the tooth below the gumline. The best way to clean this is with floss. I know people struggle with flossing, but it’s necessary. Only about 65 percent of the tooth is located above the gum line. When you neglect flossing, you’re neglect 35 percent of the tooth. Would you clean only 35 percent of your body in the shower? Doubtful. Try to floss at least once every day. This will help remove food debris from between the teeth, prevent cavities, and prevent gum disease!
- Drink water throughout the day. It’s not necessary to run to the bathroom to brush your teeth after eating a meal or a snack. Drinking plenty of water doesn’t just keep your hydrated, it give your teeth a rinse. Water can help clean out food debris from between your teeth and it increase saliva levels as dry mouth allows plaque to form and settle on the teeth. Foods like apples are also great ways to increase saliva levels!
- Brush with fluoride toothpaste. Based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only about 63 percent of the residents in California have access to fluoridated water. Fluoride has been proven to reduce the risk of tooth decay. We recommend using fluoride toothpastes every day. And if you live in an area without fluoridated water, ask us about fluoride treatments.
- Throw away old toothbrushes. Most dental offices, ours included, offer free toothbrushes after your cleanings. We do this because it’s important to swap out your toothbrush every few months. We recommend changing out the old toothbrush every three to four months. The toothbrush needs to have strong bristle so it can work itself between your teeth and hard-to-reach places. A worn-out toothbrush simply will not get the job done.
Keep Us in Your Dental Plans
Between visiting our office or following these tips, you’ll have a leg up in preventing cavities or harmful problems like gum disease. If you have additional questions about our office or dental hygiene, give us a call today at 661-524-8457. Or use the online form to request an appointment.