Some of the most important things your dentists here at Riverside Dental Care want you to know are things you are likely already aware of—like brushing at least twice a day and the need to floss once a day. But there are some other dental care-related facts that help protect your oral health that we want to be sure you know about.
1. Toothpaste Works Best When You Wait To Rinse
Growing up, most of us were taught to brush our teeth with toothpaste and immediately rinse right after brushing. But, to get the most out of your toothpaste, you should actually wait for at least 30 minutes to rinse the toothpaste from your mouth.
You can, and should, spit the excess toothpaste out. But similar to cleaning products that work better when left to sit on a surface, your toothpaste will continue to work even without brushing. Also, if you are using fluoride toothpaste, your teeth have the chance to benefit from the anti-tooth decay properties and potentially remineralize.
2. Dentist Do More Than Just Look For Cavities
It can be easy to think that all dentists do is look for cavities. However, there are a wide variety of dental services offered at our St George dental clinics. Whether you need advanced tooth repair due to tooth decay or you want to address issues you see in your smile, our dentists can help.
That’s not to say that addressing fundamental problems like cavities aren’t important. For instance, if you are interested in cosmetic dental work, you will need a healthy smile to build on.
3. Pretty Smiles Don’t Mean They Are Healthy
Speaking of cosmetic dentistry, let’s address the elephant in the room—many people get the impression that if their smile looks good that it is healthy. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.
While yellowing teeth or stains on the teeth can help indicate that there is at least an issue with brushing, that doesn’t mean that the teeth are inherently unhealthy. On the flip side, having a pearly white, even smile can still hide cavities, especially if they form in the back molars or between teeth. So, if you want to keep your beautiful smile healthy, it is essential that you come in for a dental cleaning every six months.
4. Children Should Visit The Dentist By Their First Birthday
It doesn’t have to be tricky to determine when your child needs to come in for their first dental visit. The general rule of thumb is that you should bring your child into the dentist six months after their first tooth has erupted or by their first birthday, whichever event comes first.
Not only does bringing your child in early help ensure that our dentists can keep track of your child’s dental development, but it can help your kid get used to visiting a dental clinic. That familiarity can help reduce dental anxiety in the future.
5. Irregular Flossing Can Hurt More Than It Helps
Flossing is a great way to clean between your teeth as your toothbrush isn’t able to get into those small, tight spaces. However, irregularly flossing can hurt more than it helps.
Think about how your gums likely bleed a little bit after flossing when you haven’t done it for a while. That reaction can be alleviated with regular flossing, but if you don’t commit to regular flossing, you are just inflaming your gums and leaving yourself vulnerable to infection.
6. Wait To Brush After Eating Or Drinking
Some people get into the habit of brushing their teeth right after eating. While it is good to establish regular tooth brushing habits, it can be better to wait to brush your teeth.
Many types of foods and drinks have acidic properties, and by brushing your teeth immediately, you can damage your enamel. Instead, wait at least 30 minutes to an hour after eating or drinking something acidic, and rinse your mouth with water first.
7. Some Medications Can Increase Tooth Decay
A side-effect of many medications can lead to tooth decay, particularly if dry mouth is one of the known side-effects, as we need saliva to help remove oral bacteria. Common medications like anti-anxiety medications and blood pressure pills have been linked to an increase in tooth decay and cavities.
If you are taking any medications, be sure that our dentists know. That way, they can monitor for any increase in tooth decay and other oral health issues.
8. Tooth Decay Can Be Linked To Heart Disease
There has been some research that links untreated tooth decay to heart disease. The link points to the infection of a tooth can spread from your mouth to your bloodstream to impact your heart.
While no one will say that perfect oral care will prevent heart disease, by maintaining good oral health, you can control that particular risk factor.
9. No Matter How Long Its Been, Don’t Feel Ashamed To Visit Us
Dental shame is a real issue, as it can prevent individuals from feeling confident enough to visit us after it has been a while since their last dental cleaning. Whether your last appointment is overdue by months or years, know that none of our dentists or staff will judge you for taking control of your dental health and coming in for an appointment.
So, if you are ready to visit us for a dental cleaning and keep your oral health on track, please contact us today to set up an appointment. We are ready to help you have the healthiest, brightest smile possible!