Spring is here… Did you take care of your Smile?
Spring is here… Did you take care of your Smile?
Spring is the time when you scrub the baseboards and de-clutter the closets. Here is a different spring cleaning checklist, one for your smile! If it’s been more than six months since you last visited the dentist, then now is the time to schedule a routine exam. It’s also always a good time to reexamine your at-home habits and establish a regular routine of good oral care to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
How Often Should You Clean Your Teeth?
Most dentists recommend that patients get their teeth professionally cleaned at least every six months or twice a year, the typical interval covered by most dental insurance companies. Professional cleanings remove the hard deposits that you cannot eliminate by brushing or flossing alone.
In addition to regular cleanings at the dentist’s office, it’s also important to maintain good habits at home. Brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once daily, preferably at night right before bed. Regular or electric toothbrushes get the job done; just make sure to replace your toothbrush or bristles every two to three months. Read more on oral hygiene here.
The Cost of Neglect
Plaque is a soft, sticky film of bacteria that builds up on the teeth. Thankfully, regular brushing and flossing removes most plaque, but if you let it sit on your teeth, then it turns into tartar that collects at the gum line. Plaque can also eat away at tooth enamel, creating a hole or cavity on the surface of the tooth.
The only way to remove tartar is with a professional cleaning. If tartar is not removed, then you run the risk of developing gum disease (gingivitis) and even a severe form of gum disease called periodontitis. In addition to discomfort and pain, these conditions can sometimes lead to tooth loss as the bone and gums that support the teeth break down.
Benefits of a Healthy Smile
Teeth do more than chew food. Those pearly whites give shape to your face and help you to speak. It’s easy to forget that having healthy teeth and gums is just as important as maintaining the health of the rest of the body. A strong smile can boost your self-confidence and save you from unnecessary pain and trips to the dentist.
Keeping up with Dental Appointments
If you can’t remember to make your bi-annual cleaning appointments, then try scheduling them around special times of the year, such as the start of school or near a birthday, and keep it the same time every year if you can.
Many dental offices send text reminders and mailers as well as phone confirmations so that your appointment doesn’t slip your mind in the days or weeks leading up to it. It’s important to not cancel cleaning appointments just because “nothing is wrong.” The purpose of preventative care is to stop something from going wrong. Motivate yourself to actually make and keep the appointment by promising a small reward to yourself afterward.
Below are five spring cleaning tips to help clean your mouth and the appliances you use in conjunction with keeping your smile beaming!
Tip #1 – Replace Your Toothbrush
Have you been using the toothbrush you received in your stocking at Christmas? That’s great! It’s been about three months since Christmas so it’s time to say goodbye to these weathered bristles. If you are using an electric toothbrush, 3-4 months is the recommended replacement time for their heads as well. Have you been sick? Cold or flu? If you forgot to replace you or your child’s toothbrush right after being ill, now is the time to throw it away and start fresh.
Tip #2 Check the Expiration on Your Mouthwash
We recommend a mouth rinse with your daily oral hygiene routine. Sometimes an old mouth rinse or wash is lurking underneath our cabinets that still gets used. Check your mouthwash and if past the expiration date, toss them. Quick and easy.
Tip #3 – Clean Your Retainer / Invisalign / Night Guard Cases
Brushing our retainers, night guards for teeth grinding, invisalign, etc. should be part of our daily routine. The cases these sit in, however, often get neglected and can collect bacteria and grime. Spring cleaning is the perfect opportunity to soak your cases and give them a good scrub to clear debris and bacteria. If you’ve been sick it’s always a good idea to try and remember to scrub your retainers, guards, and cases right away to avoid getting sick again.
Tip #4 – Dentures Professional Cleaning
Dentures should be brushed daily to help keep both the dentures and your mouth clean. Every so often, though they can use a professional cleaning. What better time than now to take them to your dentist? We can professionally clean your dentures and check them out for any damage. If you are having any troubles with your dentures, this is a great time to address these issues as well.
Tip #5 – Schedule a Professional Dental Cleaning
When is the last time you had a general dental cleaning? We recommend bi-annual cleanings for a host of reasons. Regular dental exams help rid your mouth of plaque that brushing and flossing can’t take care of, help keep cavities at bay and can prevent costly repairs that could go unnoticed without check-ups. Schedule your dental cleaning here.
While we don’t want to add to your heaping cleaning list, a spring cleaning for your mouth should be a gift to yourself. A healthy mouth is often associated with a confident smile. Feel good about your dental health and visit Mission View Dental for any of your dental needs this Spring!
Mission View Dental’s team of caring professionals can help you and your family maintain good oral health with a range of preventative services focused on keeping your mouth and teeth healthy. Call 408-945-4333 or email [email protected] to schedule your spring cleaning today.
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