Could you imagine brushing your teeth with talcum powder? The ancient Romans used a variety of materials as toothpaste, including rusted iron flakes and powder made from coral plants. Nowadays, we rely on our toothpaste and tooth whitening products to keep us feeling our best, but dentists say that Americans need to raise their commitment to dental hygiene. Only about half of us brush our teeth twice daily, and although we spend more than $1 billion every year on products to help whiten our teeth, we still avoid flossing regularly. Fully 33% of American adults say that the appearance of their teeth is cause for concern, but we may not realize the ways in which we contribute to cavities and gingivitis.
Recent dental studies reveal that most of us wait more than three years between dental appointments. Dentists would prefer that their patients come in more regularly: about once per year is a good introductory schedule. If they recommend that we get our teeth deep cleaned, often referred to as “scaling,” it’s a good idea to have that cleaning performed within a few weeks. What many Americans don’t know, however, is that they should be changing their toothbrush about once every two months. If you have had the flu or any other major cold or sickness, make sure to switch out your toothbrush. Bacteria love to multiply on your toothbrush bristles and you could be making yourself sick without realizing it.
Deep cleaning is a process that you need a dentist to do, but so is tooth whitening. Dentists recommend that you get your teeth whitened in their office as opposed to buying home whitening kits. If you use home whitening kits improperly, you could be eroding the surface of your teeth near your gums. People who experience tooth pain and increased sensitivity need a dentist to prescribe tooth whitening products: professional kits feature trays that fit your teeth precisely. If you are wondering if you need a dentist for tooth pain and sensitive teeth, it is a good idea to visit your local dentist’s office. They can x-ray your teeth and determine if you are experiencing bone loss due to age, whether you have cavities, or even if you have developed gum disease.
Dentists often say that there are two kinds of patients: those who suffer from cavities and those that suffer from gingivitis, a form of gum disease. If you are diagnosed with cavities, you may need a dentist to seal your teeth. Tooth sealants are a relatively new invention, but they have been used for more than a decade to help children avoid getting new cavities. If your child tends to eat sticky candy, make sure that they brush their teeth thoroughly at least twice per day. Sometimes, kids figure that they don’t need to take care of their baby teeth because they will eventually fall out, but establishing healthy dental routines is important for kids.
If your dentist tells you that you have a film over your teeth, you can try this trick the next time you brush: use mouthwash first, and swish it around your mouth for at least one minute. Once you are done using the mouthwash, brush your teeth with toothpaste. The mouthwash is geared to soften plaque and to remove it, and you may find that you can remove plaque that has built up over years or even decades with this method. Establishing regular routines for general dental care is essential for your health: nobody wants bacteria running rampant over their teeth and gums. If your teeth are stained from smoking, look into cosmetic dentistry solutions. Overall, it’s important to maintain a dental care routine, and a cosmetic dentist can help you decide what steps to take to brighten up your smile. Dental visits don’t have to be painful, but make sure that you take care of brushing and flossing at home.