Would you like to know ten very easy ways to maintain or improve your oral health? There are more than ten, for sure, but here's a good start.
1.) Replace your toothbrush at least once every 3 months or when the brush shows signs of wear. It’s also important to switch to a new toothbrush if you’ve recently recovered from a sickness like a cold or the flu.
2.) Use a rechargeable electric toothbrush with oscillating-rotating action or sonic technology if you are able to. The head should still be replaced every 3 months or if it becomes worn out before three months. The toothbrush will do most of the work for you and is a great tool for removing plaque. It can take a while to get used to using an electric toothbrush, but I highly encourage it.
3.) Brush at least twice per day, after eating breakfast as well as before bed. Try to limit the amount of snacking between meals.
4.) Two minutes or longer is the appropriate amount of time to spend each time you brush. You may divide that time up among the four “quadrants” – upper left, upper right, lower left, and lower right.
5.) When you’re done brushing your teeth, use your toothbrush to gently scrape your tongue. Germs can collect on your tongue, often causing bad breath, and this will help remove them.
6.) Floss at least once daily. Check with your dentist to see if you are doing it correctly. Many people are never shown proper flossing techniques and it can really make a difference. Disposable “flossers” and toothpicks are alright for removing trapped food, but should not replace dental floss. Floss is the only thing that can safely get into the gum line to remove plaque. Talk with your dentist about alternatives if you have difficulty holding the floss.
7.) See a dentist at least once every 6 months or as recommended. Adults become more susceptible to dental cavities as they age, and regular cleanings can help keep this risk in check. Even if you have dentures, you should still be seen by a dentist for an annual exam. The dentist can monitor your gum health, cheeks, tongue, and will check you for any abnormalities.
8) Do you wear dentures? If so, they may need to be realigned, so check with your dentist. Properly fitting dentures are very important for chewing and talking and can make daily living more comfortable. If they don’t fit comfortably, you may be using too much denture cream to keep them in place.
9) Let your dentist know if you’re experiencing dry mouth. Dry mouth, also known as “xerostomia”, is a side effect of many common medications, but it’s detrimental to your oral health. It reduces the amount of saliva in the mouth, allowing for more plaque to build up on the teeth and along the gum line.
10.) Ask as many questions of your dentist as necessary. If you have any questions or concerns whatsoever, I am here as a dental resource for you, and I’d be happy to speak with you. Please do not hesitate to call me, Dr. Femina Ali, at 781-237-9071.
If you’d like a free dental care kit with a new toothbrush and paste, please stop into Wellesley Dental Group at 5 Seaward Road in Wellesley (behind Fraser Medical Building) between 8 am and 5 pm Monday through Thursday.