Have you ever felt proud after visiting the dentist for a checkup and having zero cavities? If so, you might be in the habit of taking good care of your teeth and gums to invoke that feeling as often as possible. You might also be worried because your dentist in Fayetteville is currently closed for all patients except those with emergencies. As a result, your biannual cleaning is postponed until further notice, and you’re nervous about getting cavities. In order to keep your mouth clean and healthy until your dentist reopens, here are a few oral hygiene tips.
Brush for Long Enough
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you spend two minutes brushing your teeth. However, the average person only spends 45 seconds on this activity. Are you having trouble gauging just how long this is? Set up a timer or queue up an upbeat, two-minute song. Alternatively, you could sing the alphabet song to yourself all the way through twice.
Look for the ADA Seal
The next time you make the trek to the grocery store, or purchase oral hygiene products online, make sure these items have the ADA Seal of Approval. This seal means that the ADA has deemed these products, like toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash, effective at preventing oral health problems like tooth decay and gum disease.
Remember to Floss
Many people do an adequate job of brushing, but forget to clean between their teeth. When you neglect to floss, plaque builds up between your teeth and along your gumline. Bacteria in plaque then attack your enamel, which is what causes cavities, and irritate your gums, which can result in periodontal disease. Set a reminder on your phone to floss every night before bed. You could also place your floss container on your pillow every day so that you can’t hit the hay without being reminded to floss.
Your toothbrush and floss can only clean so much of your mouth. Mouthwash can go where these tools can’t and remove food debris and plaque from your soft tissues. Add rinsing with mouthwash to your oral hygiene routine. Of course, make sure your mouthwash has the ADA Seal of Approval. This typically means that it contains fluoride, which helps prevent cavities.
Just because your dentist is closed for cleanings doesn’t mean your oral health has to suffer. By following these habits, you can enjoy that cavity-free feeling at your next checkup after your dentist reopens.
About the Author
Dr. Marley Rinoldo is a dentist in Fayetteville, NY who completed her dental studies at the SUNY Buffalo School of Dental Medicine. She is passionate about helping her patients achieve happy, healthy smiles in whatever way she can, including advising patients on which oral hygiene products to use. For more tips on maintaining good oral health during quarantine, or if you find yourself with a dental emergency, visit Dr. Rinoldo’s website or call (315) 449-0711.