We all seem to have at least one magical person in our lives who manages to floss every day. Or at least, they say that they floss every day. While it is tough for most of us to make a habit out of health activities like flossing, the five tips below can help even the most stubborn dental patients (and non-patients!) get started with improving dental health.
1. Get a new toothbrush
Chances are, the toothbrush you are using is too old, or the bristles are worn and no longer have the same effectiveness as they once did. Even after a month of use, some brushes can lose their plaque-fighting power. If you use an electric toothbrush, be sure to change the head on the brush at least every three months.
2. Find a way to make flossing fun
Hate flossing? Even if you don’t hate flossing, but it still doesn’t rank at the top of your priority list, the best way to get started might be with a mini-ritual. One of my friends does this: she flosses, and then treats herself to a bubble bath. The bubble bath only happens if the flossing is done!
As long as there is some kind of reward, even a small one, at the end of flossing, it will increase the chances of forming a healthy habit.
3. Schedule cleanings every 4-5 months
This is a tip that is hard to keep up with, but, it produces great returns. If you visit the dentist three times a year for a cleaning, rather than two, chances are you’ll be able to detect cavities, cracks, and plaque buildup much more effectively than the once-or-twice a year crowd.
This tip also comes with a dose of psychology: if you aim to schedule a cleaning for yourself every four months, and you end up being a little late, you will still hit the 6 month benchmark. You are set up for success!
4. Consider upgrading your toothpaste
Your toothbrush may have electric power, three speeds, and a brush with seven kinds of bristles, but what if your toothpaste is, well, not as specialized?
Many prescription-grade toothpastes are available from your dentist, which can help restore decay even more effectively than fluoride-containing products such as ACT mouthwash. A toothpaste with 1.0 or 1.1% sodium fluoride can be helpful. Ask your dentist if it is right for you.
5. Bring your toothbrush with you!
It may seem excessive to bring a toothbrush with you wherever you go, but it can come in handy. Especially if you drink coffee or if any sugary treats are available at the break room during holidays, a toothbrush-to-go can be a lifesaver for that fuzzy-tooth feeling.
That’s all for today, I hope these tips can help kick-start your dental health, or possibly assist a patient of yours who is looking for a different take on dentistry!