If you’re trying to improve your oral health or at-home hygiene routine, the best place to start is with a trip to your trusted general dentist. To get a head start, you can watch this informative video and read this blog for basic tips to improve your oral hygiene. In our educational video, Dr. Jay McCarl talks to a patient about effective strategies to maintain healthy teeth and gums for life. If you haven’t already, now is the time to talk to your dentist or dental hygienist about your at-home hygiene routine, and ask them for help maximizing the efficacy of your daily preventive dentistry routine.
1 – Great At-Home Care
Start with the basics of oral hygiene. Floss every day to clean between teeth. Brush your teeth for at least two minutes at a time at least twice a day. Avoid brushing straight across the surface of your teeth. Instead, position the brush at a forty-five-degree angle toward your gums. Kids and teens who struggle with effectively cleaning their teeth may want to consider using disclosing tabs. These are small tablets that dissolve in the mouth revealing the areas where there is still plaque buildup. This is also a great way for adults to check the effectiveness of their tooth brushing.
2 – Visit the Dentist for Professional Cleanings
Despite best efforts, no patient’s at-home hygiene routine can remove all of the plaque and tartar buildup. Regular professional cleanings help ensure that patients will not experience adverse health effects. We can also help you find the right dental hygiene products and demonstrate the best at-home hygiene methods.
3 – Understand How Your Overall Health Impacts Oral Health
At every stage of life, our oral hygiene needs change. That’s another reason why regular dental checkups are so important. Kids who are developing their oral hygiene routines will benefit most from preventive cleanings to avoid tooth decay. Hormonal changes can lead to oral health concerns, specifically a greater risk for gum disease. This is especially true for women throughout their development and during pregnancy. Patients who suffer from acid reflux or GERD are at higher risk for enamel wear. Their teeth are repeatedly exposed to stomach acids which thin the enamel potentially causing decay. Older patients and those who take certain medications often suffer from dry mouth. One way patients try to self-medicate for this condition is by sucking hard candies to stimulate saliva production. However, allowing these sugary candies to sit in the mouth for long periods of time usually, cause more harm than good.
4 – Reduce Consumption of Damaging Foods & Sugary Drinks
Whether you have chronic gum disease, tooth decay, or a healthy smile, we recommend reducing and working toward eliminating sugary snacks and acidic drinks from your diet. Many patients sip acidic sodas or snack on sugary sweets throughout the day. If you haven’t managed to eliminate these foods from your diet, it will be better for your teeth if you include them as part of a meal or consume them within 30 minutes after your meal. Then, rinse out your mouth with water and brush your teeth.
5 – Increase Consumption of Healthy Fruits and Vegetables
Eat more fruits and vegetables! Have healthy foods available at all times. Keep a fruit bowl on our kitchen table and pack fruits and veggies in your lunch. If you have dry mouth, eat delicious grapes or a ripe pear. Want something crunchy? Apples, celery, and carrots are great for your teeth. Add hummus to your carrots and celery and you have a nutritious and filling snack. Thirsty? Drink more water! Fruits and vegetable foods help your teeth and your entire body.
Meet the McCarl Dental Group Team
At McCarl Dental Group, we are dedicated to helping our patients keep their smiles whole and healthy for life. This blog is just one more opportunity we have to interact with our patients and help them make the most of their in-office and at-home oral hygiene routines. If you’re new to Greenbelt or surrounding communities, contact our caring family dentists and team to find out more about McCarl Dental Group or schedule an appointment.