Everyone knows that it’s better to be on Santa’s nice list. You get much better presents than the people on the naughty list.
But you should also try to stay on the nice list with your dentist, too.
We can’t promise you a new toy, but you will get to keep your teeth. All you have to do is follow a simple three-step formula to keep your mouth healthy.
If you get on the naughty list, you may end up with tooth decay and gum disease instead.
At Beaumont Family Dentistry, we want all our patients in Central Kentucky to be happy and healthy, and that’s why we want to remind you what good little boys and girls (and adults) should be doing for their oral health.
Follow the formula
The easiest way to stay on the dental nice list is to follow three simple steps.
Step 1 is brushing your teeth twice every day. Remember to brush for two minutes each time with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Brush all your teeth on all sides to remove bacteria and plaque.
Step 2 is flossing once every day. Find a dental floss that works for your teeth. Remember to get between your teeth and between your teeth and gums to remove the bacteria and plaque that you can’t reach with your toothbrush.
Step 3 is coming to our office every six months for professional cleanings and exams. No matter how well you brush and floss, a professional cleaning ensures that your are keeping your mouth as clean as possible.
This also gives your hygienist or dentist an opportunity to check for any problems so we can treat them before they become serious concerns.
By following the three-step formula, you will keep your teeth and gums healthy, and your dentist will be happy.
You want to do everything you can to protect and preserve your teeth. With that in mind, here are some naughty things you can do that will increase your risk of tooth decay, tooth loss, and periodontal disease (and make your dentist sad):
- Sharing your toothbrush
This is always a bad idea. It’s important that every person has his or her own toothbrush. When you brush, you are removing the bacteria that lives inside your mouth. That’s a good thing because is reduces your risks of plaque buildup.
If you share a toothbrush with another person, you may be passing bacteria to one another. That is counterproductive to the reason you are brushing your teeth.
- Not flossing right
We explained above that you need to floss between your teeth and between your teeth and gums above.
Some people floss, but they don’t really get underneath their gums. This may leave you feeling like you are flossing, but still leave you vulnerable to gum disease.
If you aren’t sure if you’ve been flossing correctly, please watch this video at mouthhealthy.org by the American Dental Association.
If you have a problem using dental floss, ask us about other interdental cleaning options.
- Using a hard-bristled toothbrush.
You may be wondering why the American Dental Association recommends a soft-bristled toothbrush. The reason is that soft-bristles are gentler on your gums. Also, soft bristles are more flexible, which means they can reach more places as you are scrubbing away.
In contrast, hard bristles can be painful. They can hurt your gums, and they may even wear down the protective enamel on your teeth. That increases your risk for tooth decay.
- Not wearing an athletic mouthguard
If you play any high-impact sports (which include contact sports like football, but also sports like volleyball and basketball), you should be wearing a protective mouthguard whenever you play or practice.
When you don’t wear your mouthguard, you increase your risk of injuries in the event of falling or getting hit in the mouth. A mouthguard may save your teeth from being damaged or minimize the extent of your injury. Either way, remember to keep your mouthguard in when playing your sport.
We can make a custom-fitted mouthguard if you or someone you know needs one.
- Skipping your dental appointments
We want to see you, and we want to look at your teeth. When you keep your appointments, we can make sure you are doing what you should to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
If we don’t see you, your problems could lead you to needing emergency dental care.
Remember to follow the three steps (brushing, flossing, having routine cleanings) so you and your teeth will stay “nice” in the eyes of your dentist.
To schedule an appointment, call any Beaumont Family Dentistry office in Lexington or fill out our online form.