December 21, 2018

When it comes to healthcare recommendations, it seems like there are always new guidelines coming out that contradict the old ones. For example, not that long ago eggs and butter were unhealthy, but now they’re considered just fine. Even the food pyramid used to tell us to eat 6-11 servings of bread each day, but now it’s only 3-5. It’s easy to feel frustrated or overwhelmed by all this “back-and-forth” advice, but there’s one set of guidelines that hasn’t changed: how to maintain your oral health. If you want to a tried-and-true way to keep your teeth and gums healthy and minimize the amount of dental work you need from a dentist in North Port, keep reading below!

Get Regular Checkups

Getting a checkup every six months is like a tune-up for your teeth. It’s the only way to have your teeth regularly monitored so that small problems can be caught and treated before they turn into bigger problems (not to mention more expensive and painful as well).

Here are some of the problems that six-month checkups will help prevent:

  • Advanced gum disease – Did you know that gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss and has also been linked to serious conditions like heart disease and Alzheimer’s? Regular dental care and good oral hygiene habits are the best defense.
  • Major dental work – Unfortunately, many people don’t feel cavities when they’re small. By the time they feel any sensitivity, a large filling, dental crown or even a root canal is necessary instead of a simple filling.
  • Early detection of oral cancer – At every dental checkup in North Port, a visual examination of all the soft tissues in your mouth is done by both a dentist and hygienist to look for any suspicious areas. As with all cancers, early detection is key.

Brush Twice a Day With Good Technique

Your frequency and technique both matter for effective brushing. Always use a soft-bristled brush and angle your bristles at 45-degrees towards the gumline. Spend two minutes brushing and use light, gentle pressure.

You might also consider an electric toothbrush because it provides 6,000-30,000 brush strokes a minute (much more than you can do with a manual) and automatically stays on for two minutes. These two factors alone make it almost guaranteed to do a better job.

Aim To Make Flossing Better, Not Perfect

Flossing is the #1 habit that people struggle with the most. It’s helpful to set attainable goals that make it easier, such as starting by flossing just 3-5 times per week. Once you’ve established that, it will be easier to move to daily flossing. But even consistently flossing just a few times a week is still better than not at all.

Also, if you find that you’re too exhausted at bedtime, try flossing right after dinner (or even lunch) when you have more energy.

Sometimes, keeping things simple and going back to basics is the best approach. If you can consistently stick to the straightforward guidelines laid out in this blog, the chances are good that you’ll have a healthy smile for life!

About the Author

Dr. Paul Stein is a family dentist in North Port with over 20 years of experience. In that time, he’s seen the importance of prevention firsthand and knows that his patients who practice good oral hygiene and get regular care have far fewer oral health problems than those who don’t. If you have any other questions about oral health, he can be contacted via his website or via (941) 257-0826.