Never underestimate the power of a healthy mouth. People who don’t take care of their teeth eventually end up with dentures, which are expensive, often uncomfortable, and make it harder to eat and taste your food. Instead of resorting to fake teeth in your old age, you can keep your natural teeth your entire life. As a dentist in Oklahoma, we are here to tell you that it’s easy and takes less time than you think.
Five Minutes a Day
Too many people feel like doing a proper mouth cleaning takes too much time out of their day. If you fall into this category, we have some good news. All it takes to have a healthy mouth is five minutes a day. The American Dental Association recommends flossing and brushing your teeth twice a day, every day, for two minutes. When flossing, make sure you scrape along the side of each tooth and along the gums of each space. With brushing, using proper technique is very important to ensuring a good clean.
- Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
- Replace your toothbrush when the bristles are no longer straight, or approximately every 3-6 months.
- Split your mouth into four quadrants and move systematically through each one. Start on the outer side of your teeth, then move to the biting surface, and finish up with the inner side. Move to the next quadrant after approximately 30 seconds.
- Brush in circular motions and only apply slight pressure.
- Don’t forget to brush your gums and tongue for a full mouth clean.
Follow up your routine with a little mouthwash to remove any lingering particles and bacteria.
Twice a Year
Getting a professional cleaning every six months is important to keeping your teeth as clean as possible. The hygienist scrapes off plaque and tartar, helping to prevent decay and tooth loss. This is also essential in preventing gum disease. Left unchecked, gum disease can contribute to tooth loss from receding tissue, bone loss, and just the inability to hold your teeth in your mouth.
These cleanings also give us a chance to examine your teeth visually and with an x-ray to stop small problems from becoming bigger ones. From cavities, TMJ pain, and oral cancer, we can do a lot to help manage your health and keep your teeth where they belong. Don’t underestimate the importance of a checkup twice a year.
No Time at All
The last step to a lifetime of healthy teeth is making healthy choices for your mouth. These choices don’t require time in most cases and are lifestyle choices.
- Don’t smoke. If you already smoke, stop.
- Limit sugary foods in your diet.
- Make sure you’re getting all the required nutrients to support healthy bones and gums.
- Protect your teeth by wearing a mouth guard while playing contact sports.
The last tip is to be aware of your teeth. If you start experiencing pain or something feels different or off in your mouth, make an appointment and get it treated right away. We want to help you keep your teeth healthy and functioning for however long you need them.