A major goal of dentistry is to nurture and shape beautiful, healthy smiles that last a lifetime. One of the most important factors in achieving this goal is daily oral hygiene.
Oral hygiene involves brushing and flossing to keep teeth and gums free of plaque and bacteria. It also includes eating a balanced diet and avoiding tobacco and sugary drinks.
Flossing removes plaque in the spaces between your teeth and under your gumline that your toothbrush cannot reach. This helps prevent tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath. Flossing also helps to remove food particles that could cause a stuck jaw or a food particle that has hardened into tartar.
The best time to floss is before bedtime, but some people like to incorporate it into their morning routine as well so that they can go into the day with a clean mouth. It really depends on what works best for your schedule, but the important thing is to make it a habit that you stick with every day.
To ensure you are flossing correctly, start by using a fresh section of dental floss that is about 18 inches long. Wrap most of it around the middle fingers of each hand, with an inch or two left in between. Gently slide the strand between each tooth, curving it to hug the sides of each one and remove plaque that has built up underneath your gum line. Unwind a new section of floss as you go and remember to discard the used section in a trash can.
If you struggle to stick with a daily flossing routine, try placing your floss in the same place every day so that it is easy to find. Keep it next to your toothpaste and toothbrush for a visual reminder that you need to take care of your oral health.
Receive Regular Dental Checkups
A healthy mouth is not only crucial to your oral health but also to the rest of your body. Studies have shown that gum disease is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, preterm labor and even Alzheimer’s.
Brushing several times a day, flossing daily, avoiding sugary foods and drinks, and receiving regular dental checkups are the best preventative care you can take for your teeth. These daily habits will help you avoid major problems like tooth decay, gum disease and other gum and bone damage.
During your routine dental checkup, you can expect your dentist to remove plaque and tartar buildup, as well as conduct digital X-rays. These X-rays allow your dentist to see any issues that cannot be detected with a visual examination. This allows for early diagnosis and treatment, which can reduce your risk of future dental problems, such as cavities or gum disease.
Your dentist will also examine your mouth for signs of other diseases, such as diabetes, vitamin deficiencies and oral cancer. This is why it is important to self-examine your mouth regularly, so you can notice any changes or warning signs that may develop between your appointments. A swollen lymph node, for example, could be an indicator of certain types of cancers and can be easily treated with a quick visit to the dentist.
Schedule Your Visit Today
Hygiene visits are the perfect opportunity for hygienists to create relationships with patients and move them toward improved oral health. However, the hygienist’s appointment must be just right: too short and the patient won’t feel the value of the visit; too long and it becomes stressful.
During the concluding remarks, successful hygienists use their time to build additional value in the form of appointment reminders. They also encourage patients to return for their next scheduled hygiene appointment as well as schedule an appointment with the dentist for any recommended treatment or services.
During this time, the doctor will answer any questions and concerns that the hygienist has raised so that the patient can make an informed decision regarding their dental care. This will increase patient compliance and reduce cancellations and no-shows.