Keeping regular dental visits every six months for a routine cleaning and exam is the first step towards maintaining good oral health. However, what you do at home in between those visits can determine whether or not you will develop cavities. Communicating with your dentist about your oral hygiene habits is important; many people are hesitant to tell their dentists that they sometimes forget to floss or don’t brush as often as they should. You shouldn’t worry- as dentists we’ve seen it all! We aren’t here to judge your oral care habits, we just want to help you keep your teeth as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Below are some common ‘hang ups’ people have about caring for their teeth and some tips on how to overcome them.
I don’t have time
If you work or go to school, or have young children you need to care for, mornings can be hectic, and it can be tempting to skip brushing your teeth, or to just rush through it. In reality, all it takes is 2-3 minutes to do a good, thorough job of brushing and flossing your teeth. Think of it as an investment in your health, as poor oral health has been linked to conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. You will also save time and money in the long run by preventing cavities and gum disease.
Rinsing with mouthwash is good enough
While it may give you a minty fresh feeling, mouthwash simply can’t replace brushing and flossing. Food particles and plaque will inevitably be left on your teeth. In fact, some mouthwash brands contain sugar, which can actually exacerbate decay. Stick to brushing and flossing, and use the mouthwash if you want extra- fresh breath.
I don’t like to floss because my gums bleed
If you haven’t been flossing regularly, your gums may be tender and even bleed once you give them a good flossing. This is normal and generally nothing to be concerned about. In fact, if you’ve been neglecting your teeth for some time, you may have begun to develop gingivitis, which could be the root cause of your bleeding gums. By flossing more regularly, your gums will get healthier and the bleeding will subside.
I’m too tired
We understand that after coming home after a long day at work, or a night out on the town, the last thing on your mind is brushing and flossing. But food debris, plaque, and especially sugary or alcoholic drinks left on your teeth overnight can cause decay. Even after just 24 hours, sugary and acidic foods and drinks can eat away at the enamel and cause decay to begin if not properly cleaned off the teeth.
Try brushing earlier in the evening, or as soon as you get home, so that you won’t have to it later when you’re too tired.
I can’t afford to get my teeth cleaned every six months
Most insurance providers cover at least a once-a-year visit and routine treatments such as fillings and root canals. Depending on your plan you may be eligible for more, but there will likely be some costs that you have to cover yourself. However, when left untreated dental issues almost always end up worsening and may lead to a bigger expense further down the road. Like the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You can try saving a little money each month to cover the cost of a cleaning and exam; this, alongside proper oral care in between visits, should be enough to keep cavities at bay.
If you are overdue for a cleaning, don’t wait any longer! Contact us today and a member of our friendly team will get you set up with an appointment.