Preventative Moves to Make Today for Better Dental Health

Good dental hygiene is important and not just for the social benefits that a pearly white smile can bring.

The mouth should be considered the gateway to our overall health. This tidbit comes straight from the American Dental Association. So what should you be doing for effective preventative dental care? Here are a couple smart moves you can make, starting today, that will keep receding gums and cavities away! 

When it comes to toothbrushes, old is not better. 

Ever tried cleaning something with a worn-out tool? That likely did not work out well for you, right? Cleaning works best when you use an implement that hasn’t been overused. The same holds true for toothbrushes and cleaning one’s teeth. The shelf life of a toothbrush is 3 to 4 months. Hold on to your toothbrush for any longer than that, and the bristles get frayed and become ineffective. Find it difficult for you to remember when to replace your toothbrush? Using a permanent pen, write the date it was bought directly on the handle of the toothbrush. Voila! No more forgetting when to replace it! Not with the date you bought it staring at you on the handle each time you reach for your toothbrush.

Twice a day and for 2 minutes each. 

That is how long you should be brushing for and how often you should be doing it. As kids we were all taught to brush after breakfast and again after dinner. But according to one rather frightening poll, more than half of us are not. 49 percent of men and 57 percent of women said they only brush once a day on average! So if you needed a reminder to brush twice a day, consider yourself reminded. Brushing in the morning is essential for getting rid of bacteria. And it eliminates unwelcome morning breath, too. In the evening, a good brush will clean your mouth and help prevent plaque from accumulating.

Don’t toss the floss. 

In an article that ran during August 2016, Associated Press shed light on a rather startling fact. The federal government had not conducted any research to back up their flossing recommendation.

What followed was a wave of headlines and articles decrying flossing. And all the time spent wasted on this pursuit. But was it really wasted? And just because the research isn’t there, what do leading dental experts have to say? Don’t be too trigger happy with tossing the floss. Because, yes, we still need to floss. String is able to reach those spaces between your teeth that a toothbrush is unable to reach. If those places are neglected, plaque will build up, which can lead to gum disease.

Visit your dentist regularly. 

Did you think that by reading this article, you might figure out ways to avoid a looming dental appointment? Sorry, dear reader. There is no getting around this one. The backbone of oral health is all about visiting your dentist on a regular basis. Visiting the dentist is one of those things most everyone dreads. One statistic highlights that about 30 million to 40 million people in the US alone avoid seeing the dentist due to dental anxiety.

But what will make that eventual visit even worse is if you keep putting it off. So how often should you go? Many organizations recommend twice a year visits for cleaning and checking for cavities.

Do you feel your teeth are in great shape and nothing is hurting and your mouth is not in pain? Keep in mind that some dental problems do not become known until quite advanced. Twice yearly visits to the dentist will allow for early detection. Which will help prevent major work that comes from leaving your teeth and gums unattended.

Children, pregnant women, and those with known oral problems are advised to go with more frequency. Check with your dentist to find out what he recommends.


Image courtesy of [Naypong] at

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