At Fairway Dental Urgent Care Clinic, your oral health is important to us.  This is why we are here to help you with any dental concerns you may be experiencing.   We know that we can not prevent all dental emergencies, but hopefully, we can give you a few simple steps that will help you improve your oral hygiene.  Proper oral hygiene will help to improve maintain and hopefully improve the health of your teeth and gums.

 Step 1: BRUSH YOUR TEETH

Brushing your teeth is the most important step and should be done daily.  The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that everyone should brush at least two times a day for a minimum of two minutes each time.  We recommend using a soft toothbrush with a compact head that will help to reach all areas.  It’s important to follow proper technique as well:

  1. Place your toothbrush at about 45-degree angle to the gums
  2. Use short gentle strokes (DON’T SCRUB!)
  3. Brush all surfaces: outer, inner, and chewing surfaces.

Electric toothbrushes can also be a great option. If you choose to use an electric toothbrush, your technique will vary. Make sure you follow the manufacture’s recommendations and if still uncertain, discuss with your dental hygienist or dentist.

STEP 2: FLOSS DAILY

Most of you probably guessed that flossing is also at the top of our list. Flossing helps to prevent tooth decay (especially between our teeth) and helps to maintain the health of our gums which are both important to overall oral health. Proper technique is also two when flossing.  Make sure that the floss tightly hugs your tooth and gently slide it beneath the gumline as well. Also, always remember to floss the backside of your last tooth in each corner of the mouth.   You should floss a minimum of once per day (preferably before going to sleep). A quick flossing demonstration can be found at https://www.colgateprofessional.com/education/patient-education/video-library/daily-flossing-technique

Remember, practice makes perfect.

STEP 3: CLEAN YOUR TONGUE

Don’t forget about your tongue.  Bacteria do not build up on teeth alone – it can also be found on your tongue. This can cause bad breath (halitosis) and discolouration on our tongue.  There are 2 main options for cleaning your tongue: brushing and scraping.

If you are using a toothbrush, start at the very back of the tongue and gently work forward all the way to the tip. Make sure you brush the entire top surface of the tongue and rinse your mouth after. Also, do not scrub as this can irritate the tongue.

Alternatively, you can use a tongue scraper. To do so, you should stick your tongue out, place the scraper at the back of the tongue and with light pressure move it towards the front.  Rinse the scraper and repeat if needed. Always rinse your mouth and the scraper when you are done.

Step 4: USE MOUTHWASH

Consider using a mouthwash.  Mouthwash is not a substitute to proper brushing and flossing, but it can be helpful to the health of our teeth and our gums. Therapeutic mouth rinses can help to reduce plaque, tooth decay, inflammation of gums, and bad breath.  We know that there are lots of options out there, and we would be happy to give you a more specific recommendation based on your needs.  For now, we suggest looking for an alcohol-free rinse that has the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of acceptance.  Some therapeutic ingredients to look for include cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorhexidine, essential oils, fluoride, and peroxide.

Step 5: AVOID SUGARY AND ACIDIC FOODS AND DRINKS

Avoid foods and beverages that are high in sugar. A well-balanced diet is necessary for good health and wellness. Proper nutrition is not only a vital part of overall health, but it is also critical in maintaining good oral health. A diet high in sugar and acidic foods and beverages contributes to tooth decay (cavities).  Some easy tips to keep in mind: drink water instead of pop or juice and try to limit snacking (if you do snack try to choose a healthy option like veggies, fruit, or cheese).

 Step 6: REGULAR DENTAL HYGIENE VISITS

Having regular dental checkups and cleanings are very important.  They help to prevent and treat concerns before they become emergencies. Your everyday dental hygiene routine should be complemented with a professional examination and cleaning.  At Fairway Dental Urgent Care Clinic, we can provide you with a thorough dental examination and cleaning and, if needed a comprehensive treatment plan. Our team will be happy to asses your dental hygiene and help you achieve and maintain a beautiful and healthy smile.

Taking care of our health is not always easy but we all know how important it is.  We hope that these simple steps will not only help you to improve your dental hygiene routine but will also help you with your overall oral health.  Please don’t hesitate to contact Fairway Dental Urgent Care Clinic if you have any questions or concerns.  Our dental professionals are always here for you if you need help.