Brush your teeth twice a day. That’s a tip that is repeated so often that you probably knew it was going to show up first on our list. That’s because brushing your teeth is a very effective method of keeping your teeth clean as long as you brush them properly! Properly means following the two-by-two rule. That means brushing your teeth at least two times a day for two minutes each time. Be systematic about it. Your mouth is easily divided up into four sections (upper right, upper left, lower right and lower left). Spend a half-minute in each quadrant and split 30-second blocks of time between the inside and the outside of the teeth in each quadrant. Once you’re done in each quarter, spend some bonus time brushing your tongue too. Warning! It may be ticklish.
Floss every day. Brushing is great but can leave particles behind and can be unable to dislodge some material between your teeth and along your gums. To eliminate that material, add two more minutes to your daily dental hygiene every night before you go to bed, and before you brush your teeth.
Change your brush with the seasons. Toothbrushes wear out over time and worn bristles won’t clean your teeth effectively. They can even damage your gums. Toothbrushes can also accumulate bacteria over time. To make sure your toothbrush is effective, clean and working without causing any damage, replace it with a new one every three months. If you’ve been sick, replace it right away to avoid returning harmful bacteria that accumulated on the toothbrush while you were ill into your mouth.
Attend dental checkups every six months. When you go to your dentist in Stony Plain for regular checkups, the staff there will inspect each tooth and portion of your gums for any early signs of tooth decay or gum disease. Early detection will allow timely interventions to develop treatment plans to correct issues before they cause any significant or ongoing damage.
Drink lots of water. One of the easiest ways to improve your dental hygiene in Stony Plain is to drink lots of water every day. Drinking water helps maintain a healthy amount of saliva production in your mouth. Saliva contributes to healthy teeth and gums by keeping food particles moving and by suppressing the development of harmful bacteria. Drinking lots of water contributes to your general health, too.
If you smoke, quit. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. Tobacco use contributes to a wide range of dental and general health issues. Not only will smoking stain your teeth and taint your breath, smoking contributes to the development of gum disease and slows your recovery from dental procedures. Smokers can even be ruled out as candidates for some procedures — implants, for example — unless they quit well in advance. Smoking has been conclusively associated with the development of cancer, including oral cancer and lung cancer.
Don’t ignore unusual or unexpected symptoms. Maintaining good dental hygiene near you takes a team. A dentist near you can help keep and get your teeth and gums healthy as long as they know what’s happening in and around your mouth. Here are 15 symptoms that you should always discuss with your dentist:
- Persistent, frequent or excessive bleeding
- Increasing, persistent and frequent sensitivity
- Persistent, frequent and new pain
- Changes to the colour of individual teeth
- Pain when biting down on a tooth
- The presence of pimples or bumps on your gums
- Persistent bad breath despite good oral hygiene
- Any foul taste or discharge in your mouth
- Any swelling around your jaw and face, especially if accompanied by a fever
- Any difficulty opening or closing your jaw
- Pain or clicking sounds when opening or closing your jaw
- Unexplained headaches, jaw and facial pain
- Unexplained damage to dental work
- Signs that you may clench your teeth or grind your jaw at night (Ask your sleeping partner!)
- Signs that you may stop breathing or gasp while catching your breach in your sleep (Ask your sleeping partner!)
Keeping your teeth, gums and mouth healthy is easy with simple but diligent attention to good hygiene habits. Restoring the health of your teeth, gums and mouth is possible even in the case of serious problems as long as you give your dentist timely information and opportunity to help. Do you want a healthier mouth? Contact a dentist near you and ask what you can do, and how they can help.