Everyone knows what the dentists recommend. Brush your teeth regularly and floss every day. Make sure to brush after each meal where possible and if you have braces, don’t get anything stuck in the brackets or you could cause stains. But how many people follow these daily rules? Most people brush their teeth every morning and before bed, but is that enough?
To answer this question, we contacted a family dentist with over 30 years of experience, Dr. James Taylor. He states that while brushing your teeth is a great way to fight cavities and plaque, that it isn’t enough. You need to also watch what you eat and limit your sugar intake which can break down tooth enamel. He also said that the majority of his patients are not regular flossers. He laughed and said that generally a week before a dental appointment, his patients will floss every day to avoid a lecture. They come into his office for a check-up and claim they are regular flossers. But their swollen gums say otherwise!
Tips from Dr. Taylor
- Limit your coffee intake to 2-3 cups maximum per day. Try to brush your teeth after you are done drinking coffee.
- Avoid drinking too many carbonated beverages as they will make your enamel weaker.
- Eat less sugar and candy. If you do indulge, make sure it is less than twice a week and brush your teeth afterwards.
- Floss every single night before bed. Don’t floss just after you eat corn on the cob or chicken! Flossing helps keeps all the junk off your teeth so you have a healthy clean mouth while you are sleeping.
- If you have children, get them a little sand clock to help teach them how long they should be brushing their teeth. Watch them and make sure they are doing it correctly. My son used to run his toothbrush under water to pretend he brushed. Make sure they are following your habits, or brush your teeth together to make it a nightly ritual.
- Go to the dentist for a check-up and cleaning at least once a year. If it isn’t in your budget to go every 6 months, follow the above steps to make sure you don’t need to go more frequently than that.
By following the above tips, you’ll actually save money by needing less procedures. And you will be healthier for it with a beautiful white and clean smile!