It’s not uncommon to find yourself in a bit of a rut when it comes to your dental hygiene, especially as we head into a busy summer schedule. You may skip a night of flossing here or postpone a check-up there, but with the year almost halfway over, this is the perfect time to take stock of your habits and get back on track with your dental health! At Cashmere Family Dentistry, we’re all about helping our patients achieve a healthy, confident smile – and keeping it. That’s why we’ve put together a few of our top tips to keep your smile in shape throughout the year. Keep reading below to find out more!
Take a good look at your dental hygiene routine
As an adult, you probably already have a familiar routine when it comes to brushing and flossing, but it’s worth reviewing what you’re doing from time to time. Professional guidelines and recommendations can sometimes change, and it’s important to keep up with that so you ensure you’re doing everything you can to keep your smile looking and feeling great!
While it’s no secret that brushing and flossing is key to keeping your teeth and gums healthy and clean, you may not be aware that how you carry out these tasks is almost as important as how often you do them. Many people can get this part of the equation wrong, and that’s one reason that getting back to basics can help.
When bacterial plaque is allowed to accumulate, it can cause big problems like cavities, tooth decay, and even gum disease in some cases. In order to successfully remove it, there are a few fundamental rules you should always follow.
- Brush all of your teeth, every time you brush.
- Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle gently against the gum line.
- Brush from the base of the tooth up to the chewing surface.
- Use short, round strokes for the front and the back of teeth.
- Use short, sweeping strokes for the chewing surfaces.
- Be consistent when brushing across each tooth.
- Brush the tongue and roof of the mouth from back to front.
- Replace your toothbrush every few months, or sooner if you’ve had a cold or other illness
- Floss every night before bed
Don’t skip your regular checkups
Visiting our office about every 6 months for a checkup will not only keep your teeth and gums healthy, it also allows us to check for any potential or developing issues that may need attention. These appointments will generally include an examination by one of our doctors, and a thorough cleaning of your teeth. We’ll check for cavities and take x-rays if needed, and also look for any plaque and tartar on your teeth. This is an especially important part of the exam, because sticky plaque can harden into tartar over time. Unfortunately, tartar can’t be removed with simple brushing and flossing. Leaving plaque and tartar unchecked can cause oral diseases, so we strongly encourage you to let dental professionals like us take a look and give your teeth some extra TLC when necessary!
Speaking of plaque and tartar, removing these thoroughly requires special tools. The process is referred to as “scaling,” and once we’ve finished, we may polish your teeth as well. We’ll normally use a gritty paste for this, which helps to remove any surface stains on your teeth. After this has been completed, we’ll floss for you to make sure that the areas in between your teeth are clean. During these visits, we’ll also check your gums, and will often carry out a careful examination of your tongue, throat, face, head, and neck to look for any signs of swelling, redness, or possible signs of cancer.
Regular checkups are a simple way to rule out any potential cavities and catch any concerns that aren’t immediately apparent, so remember to schedule them every six months for a strong, healthy smile.
Healthier foods can give you a healthier smile
What we eat and drink can have a big impact on how our bodies function, and what we choose to consume can affect our oral health, too. There’s no time like the present to begin building healthier food habits! Ideally, you should aim for meals and snacks that are good for your body, mind, and mouth, like:
Milk and other dairy products
It turns out, milk really does do a body good! Milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy can pack a delicious calcium-filled punch that helps keep bones and teeth strong.
Whole grain bread and pasta
All those complex carbohydrates give bacteria less digestible food to grow on, and also offer an abundance of nutrients to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Chicken, red meat, and fatty fish
While protein is the obvious star of the show here, these foods also contain phosphorus, an important mineral that strengthens and protects the enamel of your teeth.
Fresh fruits and vegetables
Eating a rainbow of fruits and veggies is one of the best things you can do for your body, full stop. Leafy greens in particular offer high amounts of magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, beta carotene, calcium and magnesium, minerals that can really help with improving and maintaining your oral health.
Visit Cashmere Family Dentistry for a smile that shines all year long
Here at Cashmere Family Dentistry, we’re dedicated to helping patients build the foundation necessary for a lifetime of healthy smiles. Our experienced doctors are supported by a capable and caring staff, and our conveniently located office has everything needed to help you achieve the smile you deserve!
From checkups and cleanings to comprehensive cosmetic dentistry, our wide variety of services can give you a beautiful smile and a healthy, happy mouth. But our care doesn’t stop there! If you have any questions or concerns, or simply need a little extra help or encouragement, we’re here for you. While the simple tips we’ve listed above will give you a great start on oral health, our team will always go above and beyond to guarantee you a smile you can be proud of, so contact us today to schedule an appointment!