Boy, oh, boy, has this past year been something! For a short time, necessary but basic dental and medical care were put on hold. While offices reopened throughout 2020, many people still feel a sense of hesitancy to return to their routine screenings. Dental exams and cleanings are a crucial aspect of lifelong oral health, though, so we must discuss how to maintain care as needed.
We want our patients to know that their health and safety, as well as that of our staff, are paramount. In the last year, we have established extensive protocols to sanitize and sterilize our spaces even better than before. They can be viewed here. While a dental exam and cleaning may serve as a great foundation for a healthy smile, what happens at home is just as important. That’s why we partner with our patients to manage their oral health in between visits.
After the semi-annual dental exam and cleaning, patients can promote oral health with daily habits. It doesn’t take much, and tasks have been made easier through the development of innovative products. To keep the smile in tip-top shape, it is necessary to brush twice a day. Most people know this. However, what many miss is that brushing should happen for two minutes, twice a day. Once a day, it is necessary to clean in between teeth. The standard technique for doing this is to run a string of dental floss in between all teeth.
Flossing isn’t an easy task for everyone. Some people simply do not like this part of oral care. Others lack the dexterity to comfortably hold dental floss or reach all parts of the mouth. We discussed alternatives to traditional dental floss in a recent blog. If flossing is a difficult or unpleasant task, it is highly beneficial to choose another method, such as a WaterPik made specifically for flossing or another interdental instrument. In any case, skipping this part of daily oral care is detrimental.
The benefits of daily oral care and routine dental checkups and cleanings are extensive. They go far beyond having clean teeth and fresh breath. They even go farther than avoiding cavities and gum disease. A healthy smile is not just shiny and radiant, it also fosters a healthy immune system. When the body must expend immunity to fight bacteria in the mouth, it has less power to ward off other infections and inflammation. With our attention still turned toward keeping ourselves and others safe from COVID-19, this benefit of daily oral care is accentuated.