April 4, 2020
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, people are spending more time at home than ever before. In addition, people are focusing on their health, evaluating their diets and exercise routines. One health aspect that many people are failing to consider, however, is their oral health, which can actually affect your general health just as much as your diet and exercise can. To help boost your oral health, here are six at-home tips from a family dentist in Spring Hill.
1. Brush Properly
Most people don’t brush for the recommended two minutes at a time. To help you reach this amount of time, sing the alphabet song twice in your head while brushing. Only stop cleaning your teeth when you’ve reached “Z” twice. Additionally, only apply a medium pressure with an ultra-soft brush. Using too much force or using a hard-bristled brush can irritate your gums and erode your enamel, which may cause sensitivity.
2. Clean Your Tongue
While many people are great at removing plaque from their teeth and gums, some neglect to brush their tongue. When this occurs, plaque can re-deposit back on your teeth from your tongue, contributing to an increased risk of cavities and gum disease. Use your toothbrush or a tongue scraper to gently clean your tongue from back to front every day.
3. Floss Both Sides of Your Teeth
Usually, people only pull their floss to the right or left, but doing so only reduces plaque between your teeth by half. Make sure to pull your floss to the left and the right when flossing to completely eliminate plaque along your gumline.
4. Use Products with Fluoride
The next time you trek to the grocery store or order supplies online, invest in a toothpaste and mouthwash that contains fluoride. This mineral strengthens the teeth, combating early instances of decay and preventing cavities in the future. However, if you have children under six, don’t let them use fluoridated products, since it can cause tooth discoloration as an adult.
5. Drink Plenty of Water
While other beverages might taste better, they can be disastrous for your oral health. Coffee and tea leave behind unsightly stains, while fruit juices and sports drinks bathe your teeth in sugar. Drinking water, on the other hand, will wash away excess food particles that cause dental health problems. It also is sugar-free and won’t stain your pearly whites.
6. Wait Before Brushing
Although we’ve always been told to brush after eating, it can actually do more harm than good if you brush immediately after consuming something sugary or acidic. Eating these items temporarily weakens your enamel until your saliva remineralizes your teeth. The force of brushing could seriously damage your teeth, so it’s best to wait at least half an hour after eating to brush.
Your dentist in Spring Hill is currently only open to treating dental emergencies due to COVID-19. Follow these tips and you could avoid the need to make an emergency trip to their office.
About the Author
Dr. Keith Chapman earned his doctorate from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He continued his education at the Zimmer Institute, where he trained under an oral surgeon and learned how to place dental implants. Because of the coronavirus, his practice is currently closed for all but emergency care, but if you find yourself with a dental emergency, you can contact his practice at (615) 302-1414.
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