• August 22, 2016

I know this month I have given you a ton of lists to follow, but here’s one more to digest. I have some useful and modern ways to improve your oral health. Maintaining great oral health means much more than visiting the dentist once every six months. So, today I have some helpful oral health tips you can follow to improve the health of your teeth and gums.

As a modern dentist, I like to think outside of the box. While old-fashion brushing and flossing are still the best way to maintain great oral health, I have a few other tips for you.

1. Set a brushing timer. We recommend that patients brush twice a day for — about two minutes at a time. Studies have found that most people spend less than one minute a day brushing. That’s not enough time to clean your entire mouth. While you’ve probably heard enough from us about brushing and flossing every day, but you need to brush for an adequate amount of time, reaching every quadrant of your mouth.

2. Use a dental app. If you’re a techy person who likes to have a digital schedule, consider using free or paid dental apps to remind you to brush and floss. There are a number of dental apps on the market for adults and children. Some of the best apps have timers and show you which areas of the mouth to focus on while brushing.

3. top using the same old toothbrush. A toothbrush is like any tool — it can wear down or break over time. And like any tool, a broken or worn tool just doesn’t get the job done. That’s why we recommend that you replace your toothbrush about once every three to four months. At Newingham Dental Center, we give you a free toothbrush after every six-month checkup. An old toothbrush does clean your teeth properly, and it can get bacteria.

4. Pay attention to the other 35 percent. A lot of new patients of mine claim they brush twice a day, but they are less confident about their flossing habits. I like to tell these patients about the other 35 percent! About 65 percent of your tooth is above the gumline. That means that 35 percent of your tooth is beneath the gumline. The best way to clean that portion of the tooth is to floss.

5. Seal off healthy teeth. Young patients or patients free of dental decay can especially benefit from dental sealants. If you have teeth undamaged by cavities, we can use a clear dental sealant to seal off the tooth from bacteria or decay. Dental sealants are great for patients who have deep grooves or fissures in their, particularly the molars.

6. Use fluoride. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that has been proven to reduce the risk of cavities and tooth decay. Most of our dental products contain fluoride, and many of us have fluoridated drinking water. A dentists can also provide fluoride treatments to reduce the risk of tooth decay.

7. Rinse your mouth after meals or drinking soda. You don’t need to brush after every meal, but it’s important to keep your teeth clean throughout the day. You can do this by drinking water or even chewing on sugar-free gum. These two after-meal activities will increase the saliva levels in the mouth. Saliva helps clean food debris from your mouth and lower your risk of cavities.

Following these dental tips will help you achieve a healthier smile. If you need to schedule your second dental appointment of the year, call us today at 248-972-8720.