We can all agree that smiling is one of the first things we notice about someone. Unfortunately, many people over the age of 65 have missing or lost teeth due to improper care throughout their life. Our smile plays a big role in our appearance, and insecurities with your teeth, no matter what your age is, can have a negative affect on your health and self-esteem. Fortunately, there’s a simple secret to keeping your healthy teeth for life!
Brushing and Flossing
That’s right, the secret to keeping your teeth healthy for life is brushing and flossing. Your dentist probably stresses these practices at every dentist appointment, but do you actually do it daily? Flossing can be time consuming, and even a bit painful for those who have swollen gums, so people often times choose to neglect it. Brushing often is a great practice, but your toothbrush can’t reach all of the crevices that floss can!
How Often Should You Brush?
It’s recommended that you brush your teeth at least twice a day. Some people tend to rush when brushing their teeth, but the most important part about it is taking your time. This ensures that you’re getting all of the bacteria and plaque on the surface of your teeth! Spend at least 30 seconds on each side of the mouth – the left, the right, and the front of the mouth on the top and bottom should all get a thorough brushing. If timing is difficult for you to keep track of, some electric toothbrushes have timers, and may be a better option for you.
How Often Should You Floss?
You should be flossing at least once a day. Flossing is just as important as brushing your teeth, as it gets rid of bacteria and plaque that your toothbrush can’t reach. Just like brushing, floss should be done thoroughly; therefore it should not be rushed. Remember, flossing can help your dental health as well as your general health. Don’t neglect it!
Alternatives For Flossing
Not a fan of the traditional way of flossing? There are many alternatives that may suit you better than the typical mint-flavoured string. Here are some different options you can try:
- Stimudents or soft picks: These are an effective alternative to flossing, but it’s important to be careful that you’re not poking your gums. These picks are a great option for those with braces!
- Waterpik: Although these are a lot more expensive than regular floss, using a Waterpik can actually be more effective. The Waterpik is ideal for those with braces, implants, and crowns, as it just uses a water jet to clean in between the teeth. Just like the professionals!
- Electric flosser: There are other electric alternatives that don’t use water. They vibrate and massage your gums, allow you to floss using one hand, and are easy to handle.
With these options available, you have no excuse to disregard flossing!
Failing to Brush and Floss
Failing to brush and floss your teeth can lead to an array of oral health issues, which can cause discomfort, pain, and tooth loss! By simply brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, you are preventing:
- Gum Disease: If your teeth bleed whenever you are brushing your teeth, you may already have minor gum disease. Gum disease is caused by plaque that turns into tartar if it’s not cleaned every day. Bad news is, tartar is difficult to remove and can cause infections. The good news is that you can prevent tartar from hardening by simply brushing and flossing your teeth often.
- Bad Breath: The bacteria on the tongue plays a big role in developing bad breath. Flossing and brushing can decrease the amount of bacteria on the tongue, therefore helping to prevent bad breath.
- Tooth Loss: Cavities and gum disease can ultimately result in tooth loss. Keep your teeth for as long as possible by brushing and flossing!
Oakville Place Dental Office
At Oakville Place Dental Office, we believe that oral health plays a big role in your overall health. We offer a range of oral health services from routine check-ups and regular cleanings, to more comprehensive care such as fillings, wisdom teeth removal, cosmetic care, and root canals. We are dedicated to ensuring your teeth are healthy for life! Contact us today to book an appointment.