Keeping Up With Dental Hygiene

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Often, we get engaged in our busy daily routine, and we may let the little things slide. But don’t let the hustle and bustle of new school schedules or work deadlines keep you from practicing good dental hygiene. Here are some tips for keeping your dental care routine effective and efficient.

Don’t go home for lunch? Consider having a dental kit at your work place. Travel size kits are available and make it easy to keep in a locker, desk drawer, purse or bag. After brushing your teeth, always dry your toothbrush before storing. Keeping it moist may create an environment that allows for bacteria to grow. If your meal included any acidic foods or drinks, wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. These acids weaken your tooth enamel and brushing too soon may damage the teeth.

Always on the go? Always hydrate with water. Sodas, flavored beverages and energy drinks can dry your mouth. These drinks leave behind sugars, that when broken down by the bacteria naturally found in your mouth, can cause tooth decay. A natural sugar substitute, Xylitol, is not converted like other sugars, thus cannot cause decay. Xylitol tastes as sweet as sugar with 40% less calories! Such products that contain Xylitol include gum, mints and toothpaste. Starbucks Peppermint Gum and Altoids Cinnamon and Peppermint are some, to name a few. Exposure time is very important: gum should be chewed for approximately 5 minutes and mints should be allowed to dissolve.

Floss! Flossing is recommended daily and there is no way around it. There are several new products and different kinds of floss that aim to help us implement flossing into our daily routine. Have trouble flossing? Use any of the interdental cleaners designed specifically to clean between the teeth. Avoid using non-dental products such as toothpicks, that can injure your gums. Just remember, “You don’t have to floss all your teeth, just the ones you want to keep”!

Your smile depends on simple dental care needs. To prevent dental problems from developing, you should continue to brush twice a day, floss every day and have your gums and teeth regularly evaluated by your dentist no matter how busy you are.