What better way to celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month than to share a few tips from the women in the dental office trenches, our dental hygienists Jamie and Nancy. They work each and every day to help ensure you’ve got the whitest, cleanest smile that you can flash day in and day out. And while the advice you tend to hear from them is the good old “brush twice a day, floss more often” variety. There are a few interesting bits in this list you may not have heard before, let’s check them out!
- Consider a children’s toothbrush. If you have noticed, or the hygienist has told you that you have a small mouth, or you have trouble maneuvering an adult toothbrush around in your mouth, you might want to pick up a children’s toothbrush next time you are in. Using too big a brush can cause you to miss spots when cleaning and can wear down your enamel if you aren’t careful.
- Brush first without toothpaste. Brushing without toothpaste first before brushing with toothpaste can help reduce plaque buildup by 63% according to a six-month study published by the Journal of the American Dental Association. This same study saw a 55% drop in bleeding around the gums as well. Now that is something worth considering.
- Braces can help keep your gums healthy. When your teeth are crowded it can create areas that are hard to keep clean with brushing and flossing. Plaque can build up in those areas and eventually lead to periodontal disease. Next time you are in for an appointment ask to see what options would be right for you whether it be Invisalign, traditional brackets and wires, or a different option that we might have available here in the office.
- Most in-office whitening products don’t work like you think they do. Most, if not all of the in-office whitening products work by dehydrating your teeth. A byproduct of dehydrating teeth is that they whiten in the process…temporarily. Teeth will stay white for a few days after the whitening appointment, but once they rehydrate, they get closer to the shade where they started. This is why we stopped doing in-office whitening here in our office. The best way to whiten your teeth would be with take-home whitening trays, and use them over time. This will ensure that you will have the time it takes for the whitening gel to actually work.
- Fluoride isn’t just for kids anymore. We have used fluoride gel for years to help kids protect their teeth against cavities, but studies have shown that the new fluoride varnish that we use can be used on adults as well. Not only does fluoride strengthen enamel, it can be used to help with tooth sensitivity as well. So if you have sensitive teeth and Sensodyne isn’t working for you, ask our hygienists to see if fluoride varnish would be a solution for you.
So there you have it, five simple, easy–to-use tips that you should feel free to share with the rest of the world, and from our hygienists, and hygienists everywhere, thanks for taking care of your teeth!