It’s totally normal for dental patients of all ages to become a little complacent with their oral hygiene routines over time. We get into grooves, we develop lazy habits, and our smiles start to show the effects. Our Elmhurst dentists are here to encourage you to take a long hard look at your oral hygiene routine. Is there more you could be doing? How can you care for your smile optimally every day?
You probably already know that the general recommendation from the American Dental Association is that patients brush their teeth at least twice a day, and floss once a day. Some patients, especially those who have existing oral health problems, or who are dealing with whole-body health issues like diabetes, may need to adhere to more rigorous schedules.
Here’s the thing about caring for your smile at home: it doesn’t only matter what you do, it also matters when you do it. The best times to brush, for example, are in the morning upon waking and at night right before you go to bed. You want to floss at night directly before brushing, so that you are able to clear away all of the plaque and dental debris you’re dislodge by flossing.
You also want to make sure that you’re using the right tools to clean your smile. Most people will do well with soft-bristled toothbrushes; these brushes are effective, while being gentle enough for everyday use. Using a toothbrush with overly firm bristles can actually lead to dental enamel deterioration and gum tissue damage.
Talk to your dentist about what type of toothpaste will best meet your needs. Most toothpastes on the market today contain fluoride, which helps to strengthen dental enamel and make teeth more resilient. However, there are formulations available which also freshen breath, whiten teeth, and combat dry mouth. Once you talk with your dentist about the day to day oral health issues you’re facing, he or she can point you in the direction of cleaning formulations that meet your specific needs.
If you are one of the many people who has fallen somewhat behind with his or her oral hygiene routine, please know that our Elmhurst dentists are here to help you. This is a judgement-free zone—give us a call to schedule a personal consultation!