March 20th is the first day of spring which means it’s time for…spring cleaning! Did you make a New Year’s resolution to keep your teeth clean and healthy? Then it’s a great time to check in and see how you have been doing.
Spring (Teeth) Cleaning Checklist
Did you choose a dentist?
This should be at the top of your list because it often takes at least several weeks to get in to see a new dentist. (Tip: Ask the office if they have a waiting list for canceled appointments. If another patient can’t make it, you may be able to come in sooner.) Ask family and friends for a recommendation if you don’t already have a dentist in mind.
Have you scheduled your next six month check-up?
Hopefully you have an appointment for your next cleaning and exam so that you can stay on top of your dental health. Prevention is the key to maintaining good dental health. When your dentist can identify an issue early then you have a better chance of handling it quickly.
Are you well-stocked on dental supplies?
Whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush, the American Dental Association recommends that youreplace it approximately every 3–4 months, sooner if the bristles become frayed with use. Also keep your closet stocked with toothpaste and floss so that you don’t run out.
Have you improved the way you brush?
It’s important to brush twice a day for at least 2-3 minutes at a time, usually after breakfast and before heading to bed. If you are having trouble sticking to this resolution, keep a timer handy by the sink. Although it is easy to put it off, flossing is essential to remove plaque and debris from between teeth. Review Why Flossing Is So Important for tips on doing it properly.
Are you eating a healthy diet?
Your nutritional choices have a significant effect on your oral health. If you feel yourself slipping back into poor habits, read Healthy Foods for a Healthy Mouth Part 2. It discusses foods to avoid as well as tips for making better choices.
Hopefully you have been able to stick to your resolutions for a healthy mouth. If so, congratulations! However, if you have struggled a bit then don’t get discouraged. Setbacks are normal. Many people find it challenging to stick to resolutions as the year moves on. That’s why it’s so important to check in and evaluate your progress. Don’t give up! Just pick up where you left off and before you know it you will create the habits necessary to maintain a beautiful smile.
Image Source: flickr.com/photos/dermatologycom