We live in unusual times as we practice social distancing to combat the spread of COVID-19. Many dental offices are closed, except for providing care for immediate oral health issues. Unfortunately, if it’s time for your next cleaning and checkup, it might take a little longer than usual for your appointment. There’s no need to worry. Here are 5 simple tips to keep your smile healthy until you can see your dentist again.
1. Use the right brushing technique.
Your toothbrush is your first line of defense against tooth decay and gum disease, but if you aren’t using the right techniques, your brushing routine won’t be effective. It’s best to use a soft-bristled toothbrush that accommodates the size of your mouth. Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to clean all surfaces of your teeth using a circular motion as you hold the brush at a 45-degree angle to your gum line.
2. Make sure you’re brushing enough.
The American Dental Association recommends you brush your teeth at least twice a day for 2 minutes each session. Unfortunately, many people skip brushing before bed or rush through their routine. Even if you view it as a chore, it’s best to brush your teeth at least in the morning and before going to bed. Don’t forget to brush for the full 2 minutes.
3. Floss every night before bed.
Your toothbrush can’t clean in between your teeth, allowing harmful bacteria to linger in your mouth that can cause gum disease. The only way to remove the buildup is with dental floss. It’s best to use a high-quality dental floss to clean between each tooth every night before going to bed.
4. Consume sugar in moderation.
Sugar is one of the biggest threats to your oral health because it turns bacteria on your teeth to acidic plaque that will slowly erode your enamel until it causes a hole. You can significantly reduce your risk of cavities by only having sugar in moderation. If you can’t ignore your sweet tooth, be sure to brush your teeth afterward. If you can’t get to your toothbrush, rinse your mouth with water.
5. Change your toothbrush.
Your toothbrush will experience daily wear and tear. As a result, it will lose its effectiveness over time. It’s best to change your toothbrush every 3-4 months or whenever the bristles are worn, whichever comes first. Be sure to choose a toothbrush that’s earned the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance.
Invest in a Healthy Smile
Although you might need to wait longer than 6 months for your next cleaning and checkup, you can keep your smile healthy. With a proactive approach at home, you’ll maintain your oral health until you can see your dentist again.
About Flenniken Family Dentistry
Flenniken Family Dentistry is committed to your dental safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. We focus on prevention to keep your teeth and gums healthy, even during social distancing. We follow the CDC’s guidelines to reduce the spread of the virus. If you need an appointment, contact our office today.