You like to be prepared for the Friday night Shabbat. Not only is the food ready early, but you try to know everything you can about the guests that are coming. Where did they go to school? What do they do? Do you know their parents? You’re more than happy to take a little extra effort so everything goes smoothly. The same approach can also help your teeth. While regularly visiting your Hancock Park dentist is a great way to keep your teeth healthy, it all starts with your home dental care routine. Drs. Benjamin and Gloria Geller want you to know how to keep your teeth healthy between visits.
It All Starts with Brushing
Most dental care occurs in the home. Hopefully you only need to visit your family dentist in Hancock Park twice a year, so that means the other 363 days of dental care are up to you. As you might suspect, it all starts with brushing your teeth. It probably seems like something you’ve always known how to do. A quick chat with your parents will let you know otherwise. Most people don’t even think about brushing while they are doing it, which is why most adults are brushing their teeth incorrectly. Brushing your teeth helps break down the buildup of plaque and bacteria that can decay your teeth. Here are some basic tips that most people miss:
- Brush twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. Brushing more can actually be just as damaging as brushing too little, as it can break down your tooth enamel.
- Brush for 2 minutes each time. Most people don’t think about how long they are brushing, so they don’t do it long enough. Simply set a timer so you don’t have to watch the clock
- Make sure to brush the front, back, and sides of each tooth. People tend to miss large areas while they are unconsciously brushing.
- Brush in a slight circular motion. It works better to break up the plaque and bacteria on your teeth than simply going back and forth.
- Remember to brush your tongue for fresh breath.
A majority of patients forget to do one of these, and it can really add up over time between dental visits.
…But Don’t Forget to Floss
Whenever you forget to floss, you are leaving up to 40% of your teeth’s surfaces uncleaned. Your brush simply can’t reach the small areas in-between your teeth. Flossing might seem like a chore to some, but it usually takes less than a minute and can save you a lot of time versus getting a cavity. The best way to floss is:
- Use 12-18 inches of floss every time.
- Wrap the ends around the pointer fingers on each hand to create some tension.
- Floss between every tooth and even behind the back teeth.
- Don’t use too much force, it shouldn’t be too hard to move the floss between your teeth.
It doesn’t matter if you brush and then floss, or vice-vice. It just matters that you always do both. Not only will this help keep your teeth clean, but it will also keep your breath fresh.
A Little Extra
One of teeth’s biggest enemies is sugar, so an easy way to keep them healthy between visits is by limiting the intake of sugary drinks and snacks. Enjoy them, sure, but don’t make them an everyday thing. We’re always happy to see you at Geller Dentistry, but these little tips should keep you out of the dentist’s chair and in good shape between regular check-ups. If you have any questions about what else you can do between visits, please feel free to ask.