You should start stressing the importance of oral hygiene at a young age, and events like Halloween are a perfect opportunity to remind your whole family about how to maintain the health of their teeth, gums, and tongue. Parents usually take a fair share of their kids' candy, after all!
With that said, here are five tips on maintaining oral hygiene to implement as a family:
One of the biggest obstacles to maintaining good oral hygiene is the absence of a daily routine. If you or your kids are not sticking to a set routine, it can be hard to keep track of and remember when to brush your teeth, floss, and use mouthwash. Try to have a set time, such as 20 minutes before bedtime, when the whole family completes their oral hygiene routine together. Make it fun by adding music, singing, or having a reward at the end! This will keep everyone motivated and accountable for making sure they have done the routine for that day.
Do you know how to tell when your toothbrush needs to be changed? We've found that many people don't! In general, it's good to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months - this allows the toothbrush to work at optimal efficiency and not damage your gums. Replacing your toothbrush also keeps it from spreading harmful bacteria to other parts of your mouth, which could potentially cause an infection.
If you notice that the brush's bristles are frayed, mangled, twisted, or falling out, these are other indicators that the toothbrush needs to be replaced.
Sugar interacts with bacteria within the plaque to become acid, which then accelerates tooth decay and consequently cavities. The feeling of sensitive teeth is something that most of us have experienced and would hate to experience again, so brushing (or at least rinsing the mouth if you're not able to brush) after eating sugary or acidic food is very important.
Examples of food and drinks to watch out for include candy, strong tea, coffee, some fruits, and soft drinks. You don't need to avoid them altogether, but be mindful when consuming them.
The teeth are the most visible and obvious parts of our smiles, so we often focus on brushing and flossing as part of our oral hygiene efforts. However, many of us forget to clean our tongues. Both brushing the tongue and using a tongue scraper are great ways to clean the tongue.
A tongue scraper is usually a plastic tool that has small ridges, and can easily and effectively remove residue of food and drink from the surface of the tongue. Tongue scrapers are very affordable and can be found at almost any store! Typically, you should scrape your tongue once a day, either in the morning or evening after brushing your teeth.
How often you should visit your dentist depends on your unique situation, but you should visit at least twice a year for a thorough cleaning. Dentists can clean areas that brushing and flossing aren't able to, and they can even remove plaque that can't otherwise be removed through an everyday routine. Your dentist can also check for cavities and other issues that may become larger problems if left untreated.
Book an appointment with us today to give your oral hygiene a push in the right direction!
Did you know that over 50% of North Americans suffer from dental anxiety? With this in mind we've equipped our office and staff with the techniques and tools to reduce anxiety in the dental chair. Schedule a dental appointment in Hamilton today and see for yourself!