On March 20th World Oral Health Day is being celebrated all over the world and as your Mississauga dentist this is something very important to us since helping our patients achieve optimal oral health has always been our goal. With world oral health day just around the corner we would like to recommend 7 tips on what you can do to ensure your oral health is at its best. Some of these tips may be ones you’re already doing whereas others may be new tips that can improve your oral health regimen.
Tip #1 – 2-2 Homecare
Maybe you’ve heard of the 2-2 for your dental homecare regimen or maybe not. The 2-2 recommendation is that for optimal health you should brush 2 times daily for 2 minutes. We recommend brushing in the morning and at night to ensure that food particles that feed the damaging bacteria in your mouth are removed.
Tip #2 – The Importance of Toothpaste and Not Rinsing After Brushing
The type of toothpaste used can certainly be beneficial to your teeth when used properly. We are often asked what’s the best toothpaste to use or what specialized toothpaste should I use for what’s going on in my mouth. We will often make recommendations but it is very important to note that toothpaste is most effective when it is spit out after brushing vs. being rinsed out. When you rinse out toothpaste you are diluting its properties so it isn’t going to be as effective as leaving it to sit on your teeth at its full strength so our recommendation is to brush and spit.
Tip #3 – Using the Right Interdental Tools
Although it has always been recommended to floss daily flossing isn’t what’s necessary. Cleaning in between your teeth is what is important. Think of your tooth as a 3D cube not counting the bottom surface. Brushing only cleans 3 of the 5 surfaces. So what about the 2 surfaces in between? These are equally as important if not more. Think about what happens when food gets stuck in between your teeth. If you don’t clean in between your teeth then things that are harmful to your teeth and gums will continue to accumulate and feed the bacteria that can cause further issues. The best interdental tools will depend on the size of the gap and anatomy of your teeth. Floss is fantastic for tight surfaces but when gaps are present other adjuncts such as interproximal brushes, sulcabrushes, rubber tips may be beneficial. Your hygienist can definitely make the right recommendations for you.
Tip #4 – It’s not so much WHAT you eat but WHEN you eat it
When it comes to your oral health we want to minimize the chance that cavities may develop. For example, if you decide to have a glass of juice do you think it is better to drink it throughout the day or in one sitting? Minimal exposure is key to prevention so drinking or eating is best limited to one sitting when it comes to acidic or sugary foods. This way your teeth are not exposed to acidic or sugary snacks throughout the day.
Tip #5 – Break between Acid Consumption and Brushing
Did you know that when you have any acidic drinks or snacks it is best to wait at least 30 minutes before brushing? So if you have fruit juice or fruit or any other acidic foods for breakfast brushing after breakfast isn’t ideal. The reason for this is that the acidity combined with the mechanical action of brushing can cause minute scratches in the enamel of your teeth. The problem with this is that over time the scratches will get deeper and deeper and if you are also concerned with the appearance of your teeth the scratches will cause your teeth to stain more readily.
Tip #6 – Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
So what does this statement really mean? With regards to your oral health, it is important to note differences in tissue color, measurements, and appearance over time. You may also wonder why we do full examinations every couple of years. This is to ensure that your oral health is on the right track. Your first set of measurements collected are baseline data and depending on what your treatment plan is we are always trying to improve these or maintain them. Regular hygiene appointments not only help with keeping a watchful eye on things but also more importantly remove the bacteria, food debris, and other harmful agents in the month which can contribute to a dental emergency down the road.
Tip #7 – Dentistry is not expensive, Neglect is
When it comes to dental work it’s important to recognize prevention is key. Dentists and hygienists work differently than medical doctors. We work with our patients to build a program or treatment plan that will not only help improve your oral health but also contribute to your overall health. No hygienist or dentist wants their patient to experience the discomfort of a dental emergency or the loss of a tooth or teeth. And what we do ensures that if there are risks we take these into account and determine what can be done to prevent them from happening. With regular maintenance and compliance to treatments emergencies and experiencing severe discomfort are significantly minimized.
As your Mississauga dentist, we hope that these tips will help guide you in making good decisions regarding your oral health. If you have any further questions or concerns please feel free to contact us at (905) 278-4297 and one of our team members will be happy to answer any of your questions.