We all want healthy teeth, but did you know that you could be compromising your oral health without even knowing it? But don’t get discouraged just yet. There are some simple things you can do that will make a big difference at your next dental check-up. And with healthier teeth, you will love your smile even more. So, go ahead, show it off. You might even find yourself smiling at that pesky neighbor, or unruly boss.
So what’s the big secret to improving your pearly whites? Students at the American Institute of Dental Assisting have been learning just that. But the truth is, it’s not a secret at all! These students are training at one of the best dental assistant schools in Arizona. They know that good oral hygiene is important to your overall health. Although these steps may seem simple, putting them into effect will make you, well, smile!
1. Use a soft bristle toothbrush.
Sounds simple enough but most people don’t pay any attention to the type of toothbrush they are using. Using a hard bristle toothbrush can irritate your gums by causing inflammation and receding gum tissue from the abrasiveness of the hard bristles. When brushing, you should focus on the hard to reach areas around the gum line and between the teeth to remove plaque buildup. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush will allow you to thoroughly clean these areas without causing excessive gum damage. So the next time you’re at the supermarket, make sure the toothbrush you throw in the cart has soft bristles. And remember, you should be using a new one every three months.
2. Floss daily.
Yes, it’s annoying. But it will make a huge difference in the health of your teeth, even if you can’t see the changes. Flossing removes the plaque and bacteria in between your teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach. And that buildup is the very thing that is causing all of the cavities in your mouth. Flossing can take less than a minute, but it could save you hundreds or even thousands from your next dental bill.
3. Mouthwash without alcohol.
Mouthwash is mouthwash, right? Wrong. Using a mouthwash regularly is a great way to help get rid of extra bacteria that can cause tooth decay. But did you know that a mouthwash with alcohol in it is actually contributing to your bad breath? Bad breath is caused by anaerobic bacteria that accumulates on the back of the tongue, ingest protein-rich mouth debris, and then excretes vast amounts of volatile sulfur compounds or VSC’s. VSC’s resemble the smell of rotten eggs, decaying fish, or rancid dairy products. Dr. Eldon Hastings, a dentist for over 40 years and director of dental assistant programs in Arizona explains that “Alcohol does not kill anaerobic bacteria, it exacerbates the problem by drying out the mouth and creating a perfect environment for anaerobic bacteria to flourish””. Chlorine dioxide has been proven to kill anaerobic bacteria. So when you’re looking for a mouthwash, be sure that it has chlorine dioxide and not alcohol if you want your breath to smell fresh.
4. Watch what you eat.
It’s not only good for your physical health, it’s good for your teeth too! The human mouth naturally produces bacteria that cause plaque. Plaque feeds off of certain foods and causes tooth decay. Refined sugar is one of the worst for teeth as it creates bacteria more quickly. Snacking constantly throughout the day is also bad for your teeth; you’re not only feeding your body, but you’re also feeding all of the bacteria in your mouth. And beware of carbonated and sugary drinks like soda and juice. They are full of sugar and are highly acidic which erodes the surface of the teeth. Brushing after you eat meals or sugary snacks or drinks can help reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth.
5. Say `Hi` to your dentist, every six months.
There is a reason your dentist wants to see you twice a year. Having your teeth cleaned at a dental office can help get rid of any plaque and bacteria that you can’t see or are unable to reach while brushing and flossing. You will also receive a fluoride treatment that will help protect your teeth against decay by strengthening the teeth.
The American Institute of Dental Assisting, a dental assistant schools in Arizona, takes pride in helping teach their students and patients about good oral health. They are one of the best dental assistant schools because they treat real patients to help inform the community about the importance of taking care of their teeth.