Checkups and cleanings are extremely important for maintaining your smile’s health. Your dentist is equipped to remove tartar buildup that your toothbrush and floss just can’t handle. Although you can’t keep your mouth healthy on your own, there are still things you can do in between dentist appointments to keep your teeth clean between checkups and cleanings and prevent your next appointment from escalating into a cavity filling or even a root canal. Here are some helpful tips to keep teeth clean between checkups and cleanings.
Brushing and Flossing
Make sure to brush and floss at least two times a day or after every meal. Brushing removes the plaque from your teeth, which bacteria in your mouth form when they metabolize nutrients from the food and drinks you consume. Flossing is helpful because it removes plaque from the spaces between your teeth that your brush just can’t reach. An important note: Use restraint when brushing. Brushing too hard can irritate your gums, causing them to recede, as well as wear down your tooth enamel, which helps protect your teeth from cavities.
Protect Your Teeth
If you’re not careful, your teeth can crack or fracture, which leaves the tooth’s pulp (the nerves and blood vessels housed in the center of the tooth) exposed. This can lead to cavities or infection. You can avoid this by wearing a mouth guard while playing contact sports or extreme activities. Also, avoid any unnecessary stress on your teeth by not biting down on hard surfaces. Avoid chewing on ice or hard candy, as well anything inedible like pens or pencils.
If you can’t brush and floss after a meal, grab some water and do a thorough rinsing. This will prevent bacteria in your mouth from having as much food debris to snack on and turning into substances that can damage your teeth.