Optimizing You Home Care
Don't get us wrong, we love to see you :) But we like to see you the *most* when you're happy and free from dental discomfort - you know, those stress-free hygiene-and-check-up appointments every couple of months.
We get it, life gets busy and it's easy to skip flossing. We also understand that you might be too tired to brush before bedtime every night. But we highly recommend to resist the urge and just do it anyways (because unfortunately, the food particles and bacteria in your mouth throw a party every time this happens and it's how dental decay happens.)
So, we created a short checklist (in colour and in greyscale - if you wanted to print it out) so that you can maintain excellent oral health - at home and with our help.
Brush for 2 minutes
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, the average person brushes for about 45-70 seconds each session. We suggest the full two minutes - focusing on being thorough rather than efficient. And since we know that it can feel like we're brushing for 2 minutes - use a timer (like the one on your cell phone) just to make sure.
We'll say it until we're blue in the face: flossing helps get rid of food particles and bacteria from underneath the gum line and stuck in between teeth that can be missed through brushing-only. Residue left in your mouth can lead to tooth decay, gum inflammation, plaque build up, etc if not addressed. In other words, it can eventually lead to the dental visits classified as "less-than-fun".
In terms of honing your flossing technique, make sure you're doing it properly by booking an appointment for Oral Hygiene Instruction with our dental team (more about that later, underneath the "Oral Hygiene Instruction" section).
Use an Alcohol-Free Mouthwash
If you're using a rinse after brushing and flossing, make sure that it does not contain alcohol. The presence of alcohol can dry your mouth over time and dry mouth is associated with bad breath and higher caries rate because there's less saliva to wash bad bacteria away.
Along the same lines, staying hydrated also helps to rinse away food particles and the harmful microorganisms inside of your mouth that can cause bad breath and cavities.
Use your Nightguard
If the doctors have recommended a nightguard for you - they've seen signs that you grind or clench your teeth. Using a mouthguard regularly can slow down further damage and protect not only your natural teeth, but also the synthetic restorations you've had done (like crowns, bridges, etc).
Oral Hygiene Instruction (OHI)
As mentioned earlier, technique is important - one of the most valuable appointments I've had was my OHI with the hygienist when I first started working at Alfie.
She taught me: * how to properly get into the nooks and crannies with floss * to brush from the gumline and * reminded me of areas that needed more attention
The value of this appointment was really because it was tailored to me - not advising me on "which areas people usually forget", but rather, "Your gums are a little inflamed and red here. (points) Do you see? (holds up mirror and I compare it to the other parts of my mouth, acknowledging that it was redder), Pay more attention to that area when you brush and it wont be so sensitive." At the next checkup, all was well.
Routine Hygiene Appointments
Finally, coming to the office on a regular basis allows our clinical team to keep an eye on things for you. They're always good at sharing what they see and advising on the next course of treatment - whether it's * simply another hygiene visit in a few months, or * that some older restorations are breaking down and should be replaced, or * if there's something new that could cause problems in the future.
Call us to book your Oral Hygiene Instruction & Routine Hygiene Appointments today at (416) 226-6688.