May is Dental Care Month, making it a perfect time for you to reevaluate some of the oral hygiene habits that you have developed over the years, and how you can improve them. How you treat your teeth now can have a major impact on your overall health later in life, so if you’re not already doing these things it’s probably time to start.
The 2-1-2 Punch
Here’s the most basic and essential rule of good oral care: brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and visit your dentist twice a year. You’ve probably heard this if you’ve visited your dentist recently, as these three tasks are the building blocks for life-long healthy teeth and gums. If you aren’t following this cleaning regime, please start now. When your teeth and gums are cleaned properly, the plaque and bacteria that builds on your teeth can cause cavities, gum infections, and tooth loss, and many medical studies have linked poor dental hygiene with greater medical issues such as heart disease and diabetes. Your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body, and its health reflects the rest of your health, so you should treat it with respect.
When to Brush Your Teeth
If you brush your teeth twice a day, have you ever asked yourself when in the day to do it? Most dental experts agree that right before bed is the correct time for one of your two cleanings, but the earlier cleaning is a subject of a rather heated debate; before or after breakfast. If you ask one dentist, you may be told before breakfast is best, while a second opinion may be after, and the truth is that there is no definitive answer. Most dentists will probably say that brushing before breakfast is better in order to remove the plaque that has built up overnight so that they can’t feed on the sugars in your breakfast, but others will also tell you that brushing after breakfast to remove the food from your teeth is better, though if you’ve eaten or drunk an especially acidic breakfast, you should wait at least 30 minutes before brushing. In the end though, as long as you’re brushing some time in the morning and at night, your mouth will be better off than it was if you weren’t doing it before.
You may be tired of being instructed to brush twice a day and floss once a day from your dentist, but they have your health in mind when they tell you to do it. Keeping your teeth clean and healthy will help with the rest of your health regime, and it only takes about five minutes out of your day, so don’t wait to start making those choices. If you have any questions about your healthy oral care regime, or would like to schedule a checkup, please call Dr. Bruce Silva’s office.