Incorporating good habits into routine dental care on a daily basis can help teeth and gums stay as healthy as possible. Regular dental hygiene is associated with reduced plaque, fewer cavities, and less incidence of gum disease over a person's lifetime. Patients do not need to completely overhaul their oral health routines. Instead, implementing a few small changes at a time can often make daily regimens easier to maintain.
How to care for teeth and gums each day
Both children and adults should develop an oral health routine that can be completed twice a day. A series of steps that are easy to remember, even for school-aged children, can help prevent costly dental problems down the road. Basic components of a good dental care routine should include the following activities.
- Brush for at least two minutes twice a day with a toothpaste that contains fluoride
- Floss teeth a minimum of once a day
- Limit sugar in the diet and eat a wide variety of healthy foods
- Monitor the mouth for potential cavities, swollen gums, or other areas of concern
- Factor in health conditions such as diabetes that may necessitate a conversation with the dentist or a change in this routine
Easy ways to implement a stronger dental care routine
Even the most organized patients can often forget certain components of caring for teeth and gums. Schedules become hectic, diets are filled with unhealthy foods in times of stress, and routine dental care such as brushing, flossing, and cutting back on high-sugar foods and drinks can be forgotten on busy days. Patients can utilize the following three tricks to make oral health regimens easier to follow.
1. Associate brushing with mealtime
Adult patients should brush at least twice a day. Setting a timer may help, but it can easily be turned off, snoozed, or otherwise overlooked. Designating brushing as after-breakfast and after-dinner activities helps both adults and children remember to care for teeth in this basic way.
2. Develop a reward system
Reward systems work for children and can motivate adults as well. When adding components to the dental routine or trying to establish healthy habits, including reducing sugar consumption and eating more fruits and vegetables, consider using a habit-tracker app or developing a unique reward system. This could include offering incentives such as extra screen time, a special healthy snack, or a new toy if the oral health care routine is successfully completed for a set amount of time.
3. Consider adding a mouthwash to the plan
Mouthwashes are not just for individuals with gingivitis or bad breath. A good mouthwash can eradicate bacteria and help cut down on plaque that leads to gum disease when it builds up. Patients can ask a licensed dentist if there is any concern about using mouthwash as a part of routine dental care.
Developing a solid at-home oral hygiene regimen is essential for maintaining health between dental visits. Dentists can clean teeth, fill cavities, and educate patients about dental disease, but it is up to each person to maintain routine dental care on a daily basis.
Request an appointment or call Korsmo Family Dental at 253-336-0016 for an appointment in our Tacoma office.
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