It’s a great feeling having just been to the dentist, knowing your teeth are clean and your oral health is under control. But what happens in the time between your dentist appointments?
When it comes to oral health, it pays to take a ‘big picture’ approach. Maintaining a good oral hygiene routine at home and keeping up with regular dental visits are key to your dental health! But there are a few more ways to take care of your teeth and keep things in check between visiting your dentist.
Brush Like a Pro
Brushing your teeth twice daily is an important part of any dental hygiene routine. But a great deal of its effectiveness comes down to your methods.
You should brush your teeth and gums gently and in small circular motions. To facilitate gentle brushing, we recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush. The harder bristled toothbrushes can do damage to both your teeth and your gums. The smaller the head on a toothbrush, the easier it will be for you to reach those tricky places in your mouth.
With so many different types of toothpaste lining supermarket shelves, it can be difficult to know which is best for you. Generally, we suggest that adults use a fluoride-based toothpaste. Using a toothpaste that has fluoride in it can help strengthen the enamel on your teeth and protect them from decay. For younger children who might swallow toothpaste, it’s beneficial to use a toothpaste formulated for children.
At Beaches Dental Mona Vale, we’re more than happy to show you the correct brushing technique and make personalised toothbrush and toothpaste recommendations. So, don’t forget to ask one of our friendly dentists at your next appointment!
Don’t Forget to Floss
When was the last time you went to the dentist and they didn’t ask you about your flossing routine? Never? Thought so! This is because flossing is a key part of maintaining great dental hygiene, and it’s important that you do it, and do it well.
Tooth brushing is a great starting point for cleaning your mouth. But your toothbrush can simply not reach all the areas that need cleaning. Flossing helps remove plaque and food debris from hard to reach places, like between your teeth and under the gum line.
Our dentists in Mona Vale recommend that you floss once a day. Flossing is deemed by many to be a ‘chore’ and often takes the back seat in an at-home dental hygiene routine. But once you have the technique down pat, it only takes a few minutes to do. And the rewards make it well worth your while.
Your diet plays a huge role in your general health, but also your dental health. To make things easy, most food and drinks known to be bad for your general health, are also bad for your oral health. To maintain your well-being and keep your teeth sparkling and strong, a wholesome and balanced diet is essential.
Sugar and acids are the main culprits for wreaking havoc in our mouths. The acids found in some foods can eat away at the enamel on our teeth, Processed sugary foods and soft drinks create a feeding frenzy for the bad bacteria in our mouth that can lead to decay.
We encourage our patients to make nutrient-rich food choices that include all the food groups. Fruit, vegetables, whole grains and foods high in protein and calcium will help keep you take care of your teeth and gums.
For all forms of life, water is key. This includes humans. But even knowing this, most of us don’t drink enough water. Maintaining hydration is vital for good health and a very underrated method of assisting with good oral hygiene.
Your saliva consists mostly of water. The less hydrated you are, the less saliva you have. Saliva is part of your mouth’s bacteria-fighting defence mechanism. It also helps neutralise acid and wash away food debris. What’s more, your saliva maintains the moisture in the soft tissues of your mouth and fights bad breath.
Our dentists recommend that you drink at least 1.5L of water per day. In Australia, fluoride is added to our water supplies. So, there are fluoride benefits of drinking tap water too!
Guard Your Teeth
Whilst age-induced wear and damage to your teeth are inevitable, sports and sleep-induced wear and damage are very preventable. Do you take part in high contact activities on or off the field? Do you grind or clench your teeth in your sleep? If so, you can and should be guarding your teeth.
Sports mouthguards are an ideal way to protect your teeth during sport and other leisure activities. At Beaches Dental Mona Vale, we provide custom made mouthguards that provide both safety and comfort.
If you grind your teeth or clench your jaw during your sleep, you can excessively wear down your teeth over time. Wearing a night splint can help protect your teeth from the ongoing force. Our experienced local Northern Beaches dentists can tailor a night splint for you to ensure you get a good night’s rest, whilst taking care of your teeth.
Keeping up with regular dentist visits is crucial to your oral health. Not only does it allow your dentist to track your oral health, but it also helps keep you motivated to maintain your oral health outside of your check-ups.
As you can see, there are a few things you can do to take care of your teeth between seeing your dentist appointments.
Are you overdue for a check-up? Contact us to make an appointment with our welcoming team and get your oral health back on track!