As the days get longer and warmer, many people decide to refresh their homes with a thorough spring cleaning. But when’s the last time you took the same sort of care to refresh your smile? If your oral care habits fell a bit to the wayside over the winter and you want to get things back in shape, here are 5 tips to spring clean your oral health routine (and they’re all dentist approved).
1. CHANGE YOUR TOOTHBRUSH
To maintain optimal oral health, your toothbrush should be replaced every three to four months or sooner if the bristles begin to appear frayed. Why? Because damaged bristles aren’t as effective at cleaning teeth.
Brushing your teeth is the most critical part of dental care, so you want to make sure your toothbrush is doing a quality job. That way, you can lower your risk of cavities, prevent damaging plaque and tartar buildup, and maintain the health of your gums. So, every time the seasons change, make sure to get a new toothbrush (or toothbrush head) to keep your oral health routine as strong as possible.
If you aren’t flossing once a day, now is a great time to start. People who don’t floss may not be removing all of the plaque from between their teeth, even if they are thoroughly brushing twice a day. This means you are at an increased risk of developing tartar, which can lead to gum disease.
Flossing only takes a couple of minutes a day, but can save you a lot of trouble down the road. So, if it isn’t part of your routine, make sure to add it today.
3. CLEAN NIGHT GUARDS
To maintain proper oral health, your night guard needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. This includes custom night guards created by your dentist as well as over the counter models many people choose to use. Every morning when you take your night guard out, make sure to lightly brush all of the surfaces using your toothbrush, then rinse with cold water. You don’t need to apply toothpaste to the brush. Since toothpaste can be abrasive, it may scratch your night guard and cause it to wear out more quickly. It’s important to allow your night guard to dry completely before storing it as to fight rapid bacterial growth. Choose a clean, flat surface to allow your night guard to dry. Usually, it will dry in 15-30 minutes. We recommend that you keep the night guard stored in your bedroom or on your nightstand instead of the bathroom because over time the steam and humidity in the bathroom can cause warping of the night guard.
Once it is time to wear it again, give it another thorough brushing and rinse before placing it on your teeth. You can also complete a weekly deep cleaning by using a denture cleaning tablet (just follow the instructions that come with the tablets).
4. DITCH SUGARY DRINKS
Sugary drinks can do significant damage to your teeth and have other negative impacts on your overall oral health. The problem is that the sugar attaches itself to the surfaces in your mouth, providing the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. And, as the bacteria consume the sugars, it leads to the creation of acid that can damage the enamel on the tooth’s surface, increasing the risk of cavities.
5. MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TO SEE YOUR DALLAS DENTIST
Regular dentist appointments play a big role in maintaining a healthy smile. The standard recommendation is to come in for a cleaning at least once every six months. This ensures the surfaces of your teeth are in good shape and that your mouth is healthy.
If you haven’t seen a dentist in the last six months, set up a thorough spring cleaning for your smile byscheduling an appointment with your dentist at Bleu Dentistry located at 3607 Oaklawn Avenue in Dallas. Our team can make sure your teeth are healthy while refreshing your smile in celebration of spring.