While dental health is one of the primary concerns of many Americans, just as many hate going to the dentist. Others have fears, rational or irrational, related to six month cleanings, drills, fillings, and more. Conquering those fears is challenging, and even with things like sedation dentistry, many people still dread these interactions.
You can do some things to make the whole process easier though. There are several ways to improve your dental health. Here are a few of them.
Avoid the Stains
This is the toughest part for most people. There are many everyday activities that stain your teeth. If you want your checkup and your whitening to be easier, you will avoid these habits. That is easier said than done. Here are some examples.
- Coffee: Drink your coffee black and you are also staining your teeth. If you have ever removed stains from a coffee mug, you know it can be challenging, and the same is true for your teeth. Cut down or eliminate coffee, or at least use creamer or something to lighten the stains.
- Tea: Think tea is a solution? Sort of, if it is the right tea. Green or white tea has less effect on your teeth, but black tea works much like coffee, and leaves behind stains.
- Smoking: It is 2018, and it is time to quit smoking anyway. Switching to vaping is a good alternative and choosing a vape tank that is attractive is certainly better than smoking. Vaping will also not stain your teeth, and neither will patches, gum, or other methods to quit smoking.
- Cola: Dark soda does much the same thing as coffee and tea. The dyes in them can stain your teeth, not to mention how bad the sugar is for them. Avoid soda, and if you must drink it, drink clear soda without the caramel color.
- Berries and other staining substances: Pretty much anything that will stain a cup will stain your teeth as well or can. If you eat these things, brush right away, and use a whitening toothpaste.
Many things that stain your teeth are also acidic and will erode them as well. Cut down on or avoid these substances to improve your dental health.
Check Your Brushing Technique
While you may have been brushing your teeth for years, you are probably doing it wrong in one or more ways. Here are some ways to check yourself.
- Check your Angle: Your brush should be at a 45-degree angle near the gum line, and when you are cleaning the inside of your teeth. The rest of the time, the bristles should parallel your teeth.
- Let Toothpaste Sit: If you are using fluoride toothpaste, it may not be doing you much good if you rinse it away with mouthwash right after you brush. Let it sit on your teeth awhile so they have a chance to absorb it.
- Brush Long Enough: Most people do not brush long enough. If you sing the happy birthday song in your head twice, you will be close to the right length of at least two minutes.
- Use an Electric Toothbrush: Not only are electric toothbrushes more effective, many also come with timer features that tell you when to switch parts of your mouth, and when you have brushed for long enough.
- Brush Often Enough: Speaking of brushing long enough, you also need to brush often enough. You should brush at least twice a day, three times (after each meal) if possible.
Brushing the right way will ensure your checkups go smoother and your dental health will be better overall.
Floss (No, Really!)
The dentist says it, and you agree at least for a little while, but usually a few weeks after your dental visit, you are not flossing again. You should be flossing every single time you brush. For most people this means two to three times daily.
Even if you do not floss religiously every time you brush, you should strive to floss at least once a day. This will help with your gum health, work to prevent cavities, and improve your breath as well. Don’t just promise the dentist you will floss from now on, do it.
Don’t Forget Your Tongue
Bacteria can build up on your tongue as well, and transfer to your teeth, cause bad breath, and generally wreak havoc with your dental health. When you are brushing, give your tongue some attention as well. There are tongue scrapers out there that help a great deal.
Either way, give your tongue the attention it deserves. Whether you have a tongue brush or just use your regular one, be sure to clean it at least once a day.
You should visit your dentist regularly even when everything is fine. If things are going well, visit for your cleaning and make sure nothing is wrong that you are not aware of. Preventing dental issues is the key to good dental health and hygiene, and there is nothing better for that than seeing your dentist often.
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