Spring has sprung! This time of year is a time for new beginnings and fresh starts. Trees are budding, and flowers are in bloom. Most people are familiar with the concept of spring-cleaning. We clean out our closets and our flowerbeds. We throw out things we do not use anymore.
Obviously, spring-cleaning carries with it the idea of cleaning up the things to keep. It also implies cleaning out things that are past their usefulness.
When you spring-clean, you strive for a clean slate, bringing things back to a state that is more easily maintained so that they stay cleaner for longer.
As your dentists, of course we want you to apply this concept to your mouth!
Spring Cleaning for Your Mouth
Cleaning Up the Things to Keep
We want you to keep your teeth. Forever. We want your teeth to outlast you! In order to keep your teeth for the rest of your life, they must have healthy gums and supporting bone. They also need to stay cavity free.
The key to keeping teeth free of decay with healthy gums and bones is keeping them as clean as possible. There are two essential steps you must take to keep your mouth clean.
Professional Teeth Cleanings – To achieve a perfectly healthy mouth, it is absolutely necessary for you to have professional teeth cleanings on a consistent basis. Our wonderful dental hygienists are masters at removing every trace of bacteria from your teeth and gums. No matter how diligent you are, you can never clean every bit of plaque and tartar on your own at home. Professional teeth cleanings are a must for a clean mouth.
Interval of Teeth Cleanings – All men are not created equally when it comes to plaque and tartar buildup. We are all unique, with specific risks and needs. For this reason, some people need to have professional teeth cleanings at different intervals than the average of six months. Ask your dentist and dental hygienist which interval will give you the healthiest outcome!
Great Home Care – As amazing as our hygienists are, they cannot do all of the work for you. Their job stops when you walk out of our doors, and the ball is then in your court. They leave you with a clean slate and all the information you need to keep it clean. If you have a particularly difficult area to clean on your own, ask your dental hygienist. They each have customized ways of teaching you how to clean your teeth to the best of your ability. Follow this regimen for great home care.
Brush twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste after breakfast and before bedtime. If possible, use an electric toothbrush, which is proven to remove more plaque buildup than a manual toothbrush.
Floss every night before bed. Brushing alone does not get the job done. Flossing is the only way to remove plaque and food debris from between the teeth.
Add a mouthwash to your daily routine. There are so many different types of mouthwash available today, and they have different purposes. Ask your hygienist which type is best for your specific needs.
Cleaning Out Useless or Obsolete Things
Okay, this may seem like a strange concept when applying it to your oral health. We have two ways that you should “clean out” things related to your mouth.
Throw Out Your Toothbrush – Toothbrushes are wonderful tools that have greatly improved dental healthcare. But they do not last forever. If yours is frayed or splayed or otherwise “worn out”, toss it. For electric toothbrush users, buy the replacement heads, and throw this one out. Old toothbrushes can harbor bacteria and even grow mold. Once the bristles are worn out, they may not even touch the tooth surface as they should.
Take a Tip from Marie Kondo – The bestselling author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” has a unique tactic for cleaning out your closet. Hold up an item and think about how it makes you feel. If it does not bring you joy, get rid of it. If we were to apply that tactic to your mouth, what would you get rid of? Is there an old discolored filling that you hate? Do you have a tooth that you try to hide when you smile? If there is something in your smile that does not bring you joy, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Jason, Dr. Alex or Dr. Serena to discuss how we can change that for you.
Maintaining a Clean Mouth
Have you noticed the phenomenon that it is much easier to keep something clean once it is clean? The fact that the countertops are free of clutter makes you want to keep any clutter from building up.
The same is true for your teeth. The feeling of a perfectly clean mouth just after your professional teeth cleaning is so good that you are more motivated to follow a great home care regimen. Don’t let that momentum fizzle out. Commit to keeping up that great home care routine so that your “spring clean” lasts all year!
Do You Need a “Spring Cleaning”?
It is time for a fresh start! Call our offices at 605-925-4999 (Freeman) or (605) 928-3363 (Parkston) today to schedule your professional teeth cleaning with our fabulous hygienists or a consultation with Dr. Jason Aanenson, Dr. Alex Whitesell or Dr. Serena Whitesell.