October is Oral Hygiene Awareness Month. How thorough is your routine? With the holiday season approaching, treats and candy will become more readily available in homes across the country. That makes now the best time to start thinking about oral hygiene and the most effective ways to protect your oral health for years to come.
Let’s Talk About Brushing
Brushing your teeth seems like a fairly basic task and, indeed, it is far from complex. But many people are either not doing it enough or not doing it correctly. These things matter.
- Brushing should be done after every meal and snack. Twice a day is adequate for some, but insufficient for many. Please wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth if you have eaten anything sweet or acidic to help prevent enamel damage
- Brushing should be completed with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Medium bristles, like brushing too soon after eating acidic foods, can remove softened enamel
- Fluoride toothpaste makes a difference. Fluoride strengthens teeth and helps prevent cavities. Significant evidence supports its use in the maintenance of oral health
- Your toothbrush makes a difference, too. If you use a manual toothbrush, plan on brushing for about two minutes each time. If you use an electric toothbrush, one minute may be sufficient
Brushing your teeth is a powerful weapon against tooth decay and infection, but it should not be relied upon as the only one. During your visits to our Glendale office, we can discuss your routine and help you find ways to optimize it.
Flossing is Important
Flossing should be performed twice a day. Either before or after you brush your teeth is fine.
Floss removes bacteria, food particles, and plaque from in between teeth and helps reduce risks of gum disease. Flossing can also help prevent cavities and may serve to reduce halitosis.
It is important to run a clean section of floss in between each tooth, from below the gum line to the crown, being careful not to irritate sensitive gum tissue. If you struggle with flossing, we can provide you with personalized tips on your next visit to our office.
Biannual visits are the final step in maintaining peak oral health. These visits allow us to clean all surfaces of your teeth, removing tartar and topical stains to produce a more appealing appearance. Routine visits also give Dr. Wilcox an opportunity to examine your teeth and gums for signs of oral health problems and to provide treatment as needed to help keep your smile healthy and attractive.
If you live in or around Glendale and are overdue for a visit to the dentist, call Desert Smiles at 602-978-1790 to schedule an appointment. Dr. Wilcox is an award-winning dentist who serves Phoenix, Peoria, Scottsdale, Chandler, and all surrounding areas of Arizona.