The best way to avoid extensive dental treatment is to stay a step ahead of your problems with routine cleanings and exams with dentist Dr. Cerina Fairfax. But these preventive treatments are only effective when they work hand in hand with your personal oral health care routine.
Getting comfortable with a particular oral hygiene routine is easy. But you may be making some common mistakes that prevent you from getting the most out of it.
- Aggressive brushing – We appreciate your desire to have the healthiest smile possible, but you can only get your teeth so clean with a toothbrush and floss. Overdoing it by brushing too hard can damage gums, cause them to recede, and even erode dental enamel. When you brush, use small, gentle circles with your toothbrush angled at about 45 degrees.
- Not brushing long enough – Aggressive brushing isn’t good, but not cleaning your teeth enough obviously leads to its problems too. If you are rushing around trying to get ready for your day, it can be easy to do a less-than-thorough job brushing. But brushing for two minutes each morning and evening can help keep you out of the dental chair for anything other than routine cleanings and exams.
- Brushing too soon after meals – You are dedicated to having a healthy smile so you head right to the bathroom after meals to brush. But the problem is that some foods high in acid soften dental enamel, and brushing immediately after eating can do more harm than good. A better idea is to wait at least 30 minutes after eating to brush.
- Skipping your tongue – Your tongue is covered with tiny grooves that provide a nice warm bed for bacteria to grow. If you don’t take this extra step while you're brushing your teeth, these bacteria can cause bad breath and even tooth decay. Some people can’t brush their tongue without gagging, and if this is a problem for you, try using a tongue scraper instead.
If you would like more tips about making your oral hygiene more effective, please call dentist Dr. Cerina Fairfax to make an appointment with one of our hygienists.