As you look at your calendar, you suddenly realize you are past due for your regular dental checkup and cleaning. Surprised by how much time has passed, you feel somewhat embarrassed by the fact that it has been years since your last visit. If this sounds familiar, it’s not too late to get in to see your dentist. In fact, since October is National Dental Hygiene Month, there’s no better time than now to let your dental professional take care of your smile and offer valuable dental hygiene tips in Lutz that you can use at home.
The Importance of Those Twice a Year Checkups
No one understands how valuable your time is than your dentist, but they also believe in the importance of carefully and thoroughly cleaning and examining your smile for potential problems. You should look at your mouth as a gateway to the rest of your body. When an issue arises within the oral cavity, it is likely other problems will develop elsewhere that can negatively impact your overall well-being.
Gum disease has been linked to a variety of health-related diseases and conditions, including:
- Heart disease
- Respiratory disease
- Neurological disorders (i.e. Alzheimer’s, Dementia)
- Liver disease
Tooth decay can result in cavities and the need for fillings, dental crowns, and even root canals if the infection reaches the innermost layer of your tooth. Not only can you potentially face bone and tooth loss as a result of poor oral hygiene and a lack of preventive care, but your body can be affected, which can cause extensive and expensive treatments throughout your life.
Helpful Brushing and Flossing Tips to Use at Home
Not only can regular dental checkups and visits prevent or halt the progression of various dental problems, but by combining six-month visits with good at-home oral hygiene habits, you can rest easy knowing your teeth and gums (and body) are in good shape. If you’re looking for ways to improve your brushing and flossing techniques, here are 5 tips that can help:
- Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, angle it to 45-degrees in order to reach all the surfaces of your teeth and gums.
- Use a back and forth motion to cover the front, back, and chewing surfaces of your teeth.
- Make sure you are using fluoride toothpaste to protect against tooth decay and strengthen tooth enamel.
- Floss between your teeth at least once a day using waxed dental floss. Gently move it back and forth between your teeth, careful not to push it up or down, as it can damage your teeth and gums.
- Rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash, as this will remove any left behind bacteria or food particles that brushing and flossing missed.
In addition to brushing and flossing, you should also remember to clean your tongue. The bacteria that can live on its surface can lead to halitosis (bad breath) or an increased risk for gum disease and tooth decay. By following these tips and continuing to stay on track with your regular dental appointments, you’ll be enjoying a healthier smile for years to come.
About the Author
Dr. Jay A. Nelson, DMD, PA, earned his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Rutgers University and his dental degree from the University of Pennsylvania. As a dental professional who provides comprehensive services to the residents of Lutz and its surrounding communities, Dr. Nelson and his team are passionate about helping all patients achieve healthy smiles. No matter the time of year, regular dental checkups and cleanings are a must if you want to maintain optimal oral health, so if you’re in need of high-quality preventive care, learn more about Dr. Nelson by visiting our website or calling (813) 949-0424.