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Because even the most thorough professional cleaning every six months (or so) can’t replace the need for good oral self-care the other 363 days a year. Here, our veteran dental hygienists revisit the top advice they give their patients – and why.
1. Fight bacteria.
Brushing, flossing and mouth rinses are all aimed at ridding your mouth of bacteria: Whether it’s gum disease or it’s dental cavities, it’s disease caused by bacteria. Whatever barriers you face, like not having enough time to floss during the day, there’s never judging and always a workaround. Be prepared and make times.
2. Floss thoroughly.
Flossing is important because your teeth are round, not flat, especially your back teeth. Where they’re touching, you’re not reaching. With a toothbrush, you’re missing almost two-thirds of the teeth: Brushing alone cleans teeth’s outer and inner surfaces but misses the sides, paving the way for infection. Flossing feels awkward for many people. It takes practice and time just to work at it, but it is still very crucial.
3. Don’t judge your teeth by their colour.
It’s a common joke among dental hygienists, ”You can tell a patient they have 16 cavities, and they’ll say, ‘But do you do whitening?’” But having model-white teeth is a cosmetic concern, not a sign of superior oral health. White teeth are not necessarily healthy teeth. Just like the whites of our eyes are different and our skin tones are different, your teeth have different shades.
4. Limit coffee and soda sessions.
If you consume coffee throughout your day or continually swill soda, it’s time to rethink. And it’s not just about coffee stains. You shouldn’t drink anything all day long [except water], whether it’s coffee, tea, sports drinks or soda. In between meals, you should only drink water. Coffee is very acidic, and it changes the pH balance in your mouth. At the very least, we suggest rinsing your mouth with a little water after each cup of joe to neutralize the acidity. Sparkling water alone is no problem but if it contains citric acid, too much could damage tooth enamel – so check the label on your bottled water.
5. Scrape, don’t gag.
Bacteria tend to dwell on your tongue. That’s why hygienists recommend brushing your tongue or trying a tongue scraper. The trick is getting used to it. While tongue scrapers are great, compliance can be a bit tough. If you’re not taught how to adequately use them, it can be a little gaggy-feeling for patients. Our best tip: Don’t scrape back and forth or up and down on the tongue, because the repetitive motion can make you gag. Instead, scrape in one direction, such as back to front. In order to have your breath smell good, you must have a clean tongue.
Contact Family Care Dental Clinic for your consultation today!
Located in the heart of North Vancouver, BC, Family Care Dental Clinic is a group of passionate dentists and dental experts who are committed to providing patients with exceptional dental care in a modern and relaxing environment. We at Family Care Dental Clinic offer our clients a wide range of comprehensive dental services for the whole family.
Call (604) 987-3545 or write us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment with a member of our excellent team!