We all long for a sparkling smile that is worth showing off, but few of us take the necessary steps to achieve it. We know the importance of brushing and flossing, but we often cut corners when it comes to our daily dental routines. However, the effects of skipping out on flossing and not brushing correctly extend to more than just the aesthetics of your smile.
Nearly half of the American population has some form of periodontal disease, most of which could be prevented with proper oral hygiene and at-home care. If that doesn’t alarm you, maybe this will catch your attention: periodontal disease can lead to chronic illness that affects more than just your gums, teeth, and mouth. Needless to say, your dental routine is essential to maintaining a happy, healthy body.
So you know the facts, but what can you do to change your routine? Changing hygiene habits can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be, and it doesn’t have to break the bank either. The key to developing and maintaining a successful routine is consistency. Brushing and flossing for a week won’t do much good in the grand scheme of things, but consistently practicing good oral hygiene habits with the right products can make a world of difference between now and your next cleaning.
So what are some steps you can start taking today?
1. Invest in an electric toothbrush. Yes, that dollar store toothbrush might seem like the best option for your finances now, but the bacteria it will miss cleaning will cost you in the long run. Instead, we recommend a rechargeable electric toothbrush. There are many options on the market, but you can get a decent electric toothbrush for under $50. Of course, there are more expensive options out there that offer more benefits and features, but a basic electric toothbrush will do the trick if you are on a budget. If you are willing to invest in a pricier option, we recommend choosing one with a timer that will track the areas of your mouth that you have brushed and the ones you have missed. Bacteria LOVES to hide in those hard to reach spots, and spending a little more on a toothbrush with this feature can help you identify those areas to attack them head-on.
2. Throw out those floss picks! Yes, they are convenient and even fun at times, but they are not nearly as effective as regular floss. For those of you on a budget, this is one way you can save and splurge on that better toothbrush because regular floss is much cheaper than a bag of floss picks! With regular floss, you can reach up under each tooth rather than just between teeth, which is similar to the work a toothpick could do.
3. Make sure you are using a toothpaste that works best for your individual dental needs. Consult with your provider about what you need in a toothpaste, and which brands they recommend. Some pastes are heavier than others, and some are better suited for sensitive teeth and gums than others. If you are having any pain or sensitivity when brushing, eating, or drinking, this can be a sign of gum recession and a variety of other factors that can be helped by merely switching to a different toothpaste.
4. Check your technique. Even if you have consistently been flossing and brushing your teeth, it’s always a good idea to consult with your provider about how you can improve your brushing and flossing technique. Keep in mind that more factors contribute to your oral health than just your maintenance, and your genetic makeup may require extra care to maintain your oral health. Consult with your provider to make sure your technique is the best it can be.
5. Keep it consistent! Again, the key to any good habit is consistency. Whether you are simply improving your technique and oral routine or you are new to flossing and brushing correctly, it is necessary to maintain the progress you’ve made.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation and take the next step in improving your oral hygiene routine, our staff here at PerioLife is here to help. Contact us at Periolife Periodontics & Implant Dentistry today!