Maintaining Your Smile Between Dental Visits

30 September 2009

It is important to keep in mind that your dentist can only do so much to help your smile stay healthy and white. Maintaining your teeth is a tag-team effort between you and your dentist, so let’s review the basic fundamentals of keeping your teeth clean and perhaps even learn a few interesting facts along the way!


At this point in our history as human beings it is common knowledge that brushing your teeth twice a day is essential for keeping your dental health in good order. However, it is important to keep these tips in mind when doing this twice-daily ritual:

  1. Experience the experience

    Over the years, one can become so accustomed to the practice of brushing one’s teeth that it becomes something we do without thinking about it. And that usually means that we begin to do less and less of a thorough job as the years pass. After all: if something is worth doing, then one should do it right, no? So be sure to focus on the task at hand, doing the best you can each time to clean not just the front of the teeth, but the backs as well and the lower parts of the teeth that are near the gums. Hold the brush at an angle, and try concentrating on one tooth area at a time until you feel that you have covered all of your bases. You will probably experience a more refreshed and clean post-brushed feeling if you keep this in mind.

    Another good way to make sure you brush your teeth thoroughly is to time yourself (about 3 minutes is what is recommended), or use an electronic toothbrush that has a timer on it, in order to make sure you don’t try to cut any corners.

  2. Toothbrushes are not permanent!

    You would be surprised how many people keep their toothbrushes around for years upon years. Do you remember the last time you bought a new brush? People are always glad when they do because a new toothbrush not only cleans better but feels better too. It is recommended that you replace your toothbrush at least every three months. Additionally, keep in mind that the fiber in toothbrushes often start wearing out before they show visible signs that it is time for them to be replaced!


The daily practice of flossing your teeth is one that is unfortunately quite often overlooked. Most people do not do this daily and if they do, they don’t do it thoroughly enough. Perhaps these little tips could help steer you in the right direction if you happen to be one of these people:

  1. Find a flossing time that works for you

    If you’re like me, you do not wish to stand in front of the bathroom mirror for longer than five minutes or so. That is why I floss my teeth each night while watching the evening news. This way I do not rush the process of flossing, like I would if I was standing up in bathroom, and since I watch the news every day it ensures that I keep up with my flossing. So, find a time that works for you and fits into your daily routine, and you may then find flossing to be less of a chore.

  2. Keep in mind the importance of flossing

    After all, just like the dentist can only do so much to keep you teeth healthy, brushing is only half of the equation when it comes to the daily cleaning of your teeth. Flossing helps clean and stimulate the areas of your teeth and mouth that brushing cannot reach.

  3. Take it one tooth at a time

    It is important to be patient when flossing, and make sure that you are going in between each pair of teeth. Develop a routine that works for you. If you have trouble getting in between any two of your teeth, use the waxed variety of dental floss.


Of course, what we eat has a lot to do with the health and appearance of our teeth. So, keep these tips in mind:

  1. More than twice a day is okay

    We all know that sugary foods are worse for our teeth than non-sugary ones. So, if you’ve just polished off that berry pie all by yourself, why not give your teeth a break and brush them one extra time? Not only will this help your teeth, it is also a healthier alternative to using mints or gum to freshen your breath. Another easy way to rinse your teeth quickly right after a meal is to just use mouthwash.

  2. Sugar is not the only enemy of you teeth

    Acidic foods and ones who’s particles have a tendency to stay packed in between teeth can be just as bad as that candy bar.Have you ever noticed how bits of potato chips stay lodged in between your teeth long after they have been eaten? For this reason, foods like this can be just as bad for your teeth as candy, so eat them sparingly. Also, highly acidic foods, which include everything from tomatoes to soda pop, can wear away on the enamel of teeth, so keep this in mind when balancing out your daily meals, especially if you have very sensitive teeth.

Until next time,


Staff Writer

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