How do you maintain your oral health? Visiting the dentist in Lancaster. PA every six months is a big part of it, but there’s more to long-lasting smiles than that. Here’s how to stay healthy between your preventive appointments with Dr. Sean Moriarty.
#1: Brush for Longer
Most people don’t manage to brush their teeth for the recommended two minutes. It’s not the most exciting part of your day, but a thorough clean is crucial for keeping tooth decay and gum disease at bay. Clean each quadrant of the smile for 30 seconds — do some exercises (like these bodyweight squats) or set a timer to keep track of how long you’ve brushed. You can also invest in an electric toothbrush, which should come with an automatic timer.
#2: Floss Better
Are you in a flossing habit? While it’s not easy to remember to floss, developing the habit is one of the most important things you can do for your continued smile health. Leave yourself notes, set an alarm on your phone, or get an accountability partner — whatever you have to do to remind yourself to clean between your teeth at least once a day.
To floss effectively, wrap about 18 inches of the stuff around your middle fingers, leaving about an inch of floss in between. Work the floss up and down between teeth, gently scrubbing away plaque and bacteria in the hardest-to-reach places. Use a new area of floss every time to avoid the redistribution of bacteria throughout the mouth.
#3: Protect Your Smile
Do you play contact sports? Are you a nighttime teeth grinder? If either one is true about you, you need to protect your teeth with a custom-fit mouthguard. Football, boxing, and wrestling are obvious — but even not so heavy hitting games like basketball, softball, and gymnastics can cause dental injuries.
#4: Reduce Snacking
For the health of your teeth and gums, it’s not only what you eat, it’s also when you eat it. Your mouth doesn’t work up as much saliva during a snack as it does during a full meal, meaning more acids, bacteria, and food particles are left behind. To keep your mouth cleaner for longer, try to eat full, balanced meals rather than snacking throughout the day. And if you must snack, brush your teeth soon after.
#5: Keep Teeth White
Limiting your smile’s exposure to dark foods and beverages will keep your teeth whiter for longer. But if you regularly drink black coffee or can’t go without a dark soda at lunch, sip through a straw to keep the beverage from touching your tooth enamel. Add milk to your coffee to lighten the shade. And after you’re finished with any highly pigmented drink or food item, rinse your mouth out with water to remove the staining agents from the surface of teeth.
Then Come See Us Again!
Keep up with these good hygiene habits and your six-month dental appointments will be a breeze. When was your last visit to Mor Smiles? If it’s been awhile, don’t slack off on your preventive care — you’re always welcome in our office! Request an appointment with your dentist today.