Since we’ve all been pretty much stuck in our homes and apartments for all of spring and into summer, you’d think our teeth would be perfectly maintained and gleaming, our gums pink and healthy.
Despite having created a permanent butt imprint on their couch, just paces away from their bathroom and the trusty tools for dental hygiene, most people have been just as lackadaisical about taking care of their teeth. We’ve all been wearing masks for protection and respect for others, but what about flossing as respect for our teeth?
But if you take care of your teeth, they’ll take care of you for the rest of your life. Since the team at Gentle Dental is all about diligent home hygiene, let’s have a little refresher course — Dental Hygiene 101.
• Putting in your time now will save you a lot of time in a dentist’s chair later.
• Use a soft-bristled brush. You may think a firmer brush would clean better, but they actually make your gums recede.
• Start in the back of each quarter and work your way forward in an overlapping circular pattern.
• You should spend two minutes. If you want to break that down, think 30 minutes per quarter.
• Hit the inside of the teeth, the molar tops, the outsides, the gumline, the roof, and tongue.
• Brush two or three times daily.
• Don’t be too firm because you can wear down your enamel.
• When your bristles start to fan out, it’s time for a new toothbrush.
• Floss once daily.
• Use around 18 inches of floss. Wrap it around either your index or middle finger leaving a two-inch span between them.
• Hit both sides of every tooth, going down just below the gumline.
• Proper flossing takes about one minute.
• Waxed, unwaxed, flavored, plain? Makes no difference, but if cinnamon makes you actually floss, then go for it!
• Ribbon, tape, regular floss, floss picks. They’re all good.
• Flossing can cause a little bit of bleeding, especially if you’ve missed a few days, but that will go away with regular flossing.
There, you passed Dental Hygiene 101. That was easy, huh? And you didn’t even have to log into Zoom. Far easier than putting together that 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle that has 200 different flowers on it. But there is one last piece of the hygiene routine — scheduling twice-yearly visits with the team at Gentle Dental. Beyond removing plaque and tartar and making your teeth sparkle, these visits are the time for us to find early signs of decay or gum disease before they become real problems. Call us at (732) 549-5660 to schedule your cleaning and exam.