SCOTTS VALLEY, SANTA CRUZ, CA
The American Dental Association advises every person to see their dentist once every six months for a check-up that includes a professional dental cleaning and an oral examination. Do you keep up with this recommended schedule of care? Most people don’t! According to data on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, only 64.9% of American adults had been to the dentist once in the past year. If you’ve fallen out of the routine, there’s no time like the present to get back on track. In this article, your Scotts Valley dentists at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry provide eight tips to help everyone improve their oral health.
Tip 1: Brush at Bedtime
We highly recommend brushing your teeth before bed. This helps remove food particles and cavity-causing bacteria, which, otherwise, will linger inside your mouth while you sleep, allowing plenty of time for the formation of plaque that could lead to cavities.
Tip 2: Floss
One survey showed that almost one-third of Americans never floss. Even the most diligent teeth brushers will not target the food and plaque that accumulates between their teeth, but build-up in these areas can cause cavities and gum disease just the same. You should floss at least once a day, ideally after your last meal of the day.
Tip 3: Don’t Forget the Fluoride
Fluoride naturally fortifies your mouth’s ability to fight off tooth decay. This is why we recommend you use both toothpaste and a mouthwash that contains fluoride. At Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry, we also offer individual fluoride treatments as part of our regimen of preventive care. Fluoride treatments are most often recommended for children, although some adults may benefit from it as well.
Tip 4: Brush the Right Way
Brushing with the wrong technique could mean that you miss areas, leaving plaque and bacteria behind. Aim to brush for about two minutes, working the brush over your teeth in small, gentle circles on the front surfaces of your teeth, using back and forth motion to brush the biting surfaces of your top and bottom teeth. Our dental hygienists can provide instruction on proper brushing and flossing during your regular check-up if you aren’t sure whether you are brushing correctly.
Tip 5: Don’t Forget the Tongue
Brushing your teeth may be a given for most people, but it is important not to neglect the tongue. Just a few quick scrubs with your toothbrush limit the number of bacteria on your tongue, which otherwise can become a breeding ground for cavity-causing bacteria or lead to the development of plaque or chronic bad breath.
Tip 6: Rinse Your Mouth
Adding a mouthwash to your daily regimen of oral hygiene can be a great help, assuming that you use a mouthwash that contains fluoride and has an antibacterial quality—not just to freshen up your breath. Mouthwash also can be a quick, though not ideal, substitute if you don’t have time to brush and floss after a meal.
Tip 7: Skip the Sugar
Nutrition plays a pivotal role in maintaining good oral health. You want to limit your consumption of sugary foods and drinks like soft drinks, candy, and even chips and crackers (which break down into sugar). Consuming too much sugar fuels oral bacteria that excrete harmful enamel eroding acids. It’s best to limit your consumption of sugar or avoid it as much as possible.
Tip 8: See Your Dentist
Seeing your dentist every six months for check-ups and cleanings is crucial if you want to have the best-looking smile. During the pandemic, many patients could not maintain that schedule. Now’s a great time to get back on track, and the team at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry is here to help. Schedule your appointment online or by calling (831) 438-4411 if you’re living in the areas of Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Scotts Valley, California.