1. Turn the water faucet off when brushing your teeth.
2. Replace your toothbrush or power toothbrush head if it has been 3 months since you last started using a new one – or if you have recently been sick, or if the indicator on the brush tells you it’s time (even if it has been over 3 months and the indicator looks fine) OR if someone decided to use your brush!
3. Brush for at least two minutes at least twice a day.
When? A good time to brush is after eating breakfast and then again after you have finished eating and drinking for the day. If you can brush during the day, after meals is a great time. Use a stop-watch or timer if you need to. We have some here if you need one.
4. Keep your toothbrush far away from the toilet. It’s always wise to flush the toilet with the lid closed as germs can spray way up into the air (at least that’s what we’ve been told).
5. Reduce your soda and carbonated beverage consumption. If you are going to drink these beverages, it may be wise to drink them through a straw and limit the amount of time spent drinking. If you want a soda, have it in one sitting, instead of prolonged sipping.
6. Floss daily. Use about 18 inches of dental floss and floss in between every tooth. To see a video on good flossing form, please visit this YOU TUBE Video.
7. Schedule an advanced oral cancer screening for your next dental visit if it has been a year or more since your last screening. Not sure if you’ve been screened? Check with your dentist – advanced oral cancer screenings use additional technology that may aid in earlier detection.
8. Address any dental problems you currently are aware of – do you know your gums are bleeding? Have you had a root canal and have not capped? Make 2010 the year that you resolve these ongoing issues so that moving forward, you can stay on top of your oral health.
9. Schedule your dental cleanings for the year if you don’t already have them scheduled. Everyone should see a dentist at least once every 6 months for a professional cleaning; some people may require cleanings or specialized treatments more often.
10. Realize it’s okay – and IMPORTANT – to take care of your oral health. It tends to be one area of health that people neglect or feel awkward about caring about. Getting dental problems fixed and spending a few minutes a day brushing and flossing is not being selfish. You deserve to have the best oral health possible – and it’s absolutely within reach!