Here are some quick tips to help you start 2021 with a healthier smile.
1. Brush your teeth. It may seem simple but it really is one of the easiest way to maintain our oral health. Our Calgary dentist recommends that you brush at least twice per day, in the morning and before bed, and optimally, between meals.
Why is brushing our teeth before going to sleep so important? While we sleep, we produce less saliva. Saliva is important because it actually has anti-bacterial properties, neutralizes the acids in our mouths and helps to wash away food particles and debris. With less saliva, our mouths become dry, thereby creating an environment where bacteria easily multiplies. After a day of eating and drinking, it is imperative that we brush away any remaining food particles and debris to minimize the bacterial growth in our mouths while we sleep.
2. Switch to an electric toothbrush. The main benefit of an electric toothbrush is that the rotating and oscillating movement of the electric toothbrush may be more effective and efficient in removing plaque and food particles from your teeth than a regular manual toothbrush. Some electric toothbrushes also have built in timers, which can encourage the user to brush their teeth longer, thereby removing more food particles, plaque and bacteria. Some also have pressure sensors which can alert you if you are using too much pressure while brushing your teeth. Lastly, many kids find electric toothbrushes fun to use. Anything that encourages proper and consistent teeth brushing is highly recommended by our Calgary dentist and hygienists.
3. Rinse with a therapeutic mouthwash. Although not a replacement for brushing and flossing your teeth, using a mouthwash every day certainly has its benefits. The primary benefit of using a mouthwash is that it can reach areas of your mouth where a toothbrush simply cannot and therefore it helps to reduce both tooth decay and gum disease. A therapeutic mouthwash, being a mouthwash that contains one or more active ingredients that can help reduce plaque, gingivitis, cavities and bad breath, is recommended by our Calgary dentist. Mouthwash is not recommended for children under the age of 6 due to the risk of swallowing the mouthwash by young children.
4. Floss your teeth. Although brushing is important, it is also important to pair your brushing with flossing, Our Calgary dentist recommends that you floss your teeth at least once per day. Flossing removes food particles and plaque that are stuck between your teeth, which areas are not easily reached with your toothbrush.
5. Brush your tongue. Although not a necessary step, many people simply like the way their mouths feel after brushing their tongues. Although there is no evidence that brushing your tongue can help decrease bad breath (American Dental Association), it certainly cannot hurt to add tongue brushing to your oral hygiene routine.
6. Don't ignore any potential dental problems. Sometimes a dental issue is very obvious, such as swelling in the face from an infection or the loss of a tooth from dental trauma. These are situations that require you to call your Calgary emergency dentist as soon as possible. Other issues may be more subtle, such as a toothache that comes and goes, or tenderness in the gums. If you are experiencing any dental pain, swelling or any other potential signs of a tooth issue, the best advice is to not ignore these symptoms, even if they tend to come and go. Although the potential issue may not be a dental emergency that requires an emergency dentist appointment, the sooner the issue is looked at by your Calgary dentist, the greater chance that any issue can be caught earlier, thereby potentially avoiding a much larger problem.
In the end, any steps that you take to reduce any potential dental issues, including making appointments to see your Calgary dentist for regular dental check-ups and cleanings, will help to maintain the health of your teeth and gums for a lifetime.