Professional Musicians, Local 47 and Employers’ Health & Welfare Fund
QUICK AND EASY DENTAL HYGIENE
Parties with friends, family visits, holiday shopping – often, we get swept up in the festivities of the holiday season, and we may let the little things slide. But don’t let the hustle and bustle of the season keep you from practicing good dental hygiene.
In the long run, good dental hygiene is not such a little thing. To prevent dental problems from developing, you should continue to brush twice a day, floss every day and have your gums and teeth regularly evaluated by your dentist no matter how busy you are.
QUICK FIXES FOR DENTAL HYGIENE
How do you keep up with your oral care regimen when you’re in a hurry? Here are some tips for keeping your dental care regimen effective and efficient:
1. No time to floss? If you’re crunched for time, consider keeping some floss picks near your couch or TV for use while watching your favorite show. Or throw some in your purse or your pocket and use them on the go. And although most people cite lack of time as a reason for not flossing, the Academy of General Dentistry says that flossing even two or three times a week has its benefits and is far better than not flossing at all.
2. If you don’t have time to brush after a meal, be sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly with water to remove all food particles and lingering sugars.
3. Better yet, keep a bottle of fluoride mouth rinse in your purse, glove box or office desk drawer and slip away for a quick, refreshing rinse. Although mouth rinses should not be considered substitutes for a proper regimen of brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing, they can be a good quick fix to slow acid formation and tooth decay until you find the time later that day to floss and brush your teeth properly.
4. Sugar-free gum or mints with xylitol can be a quick fix for on-the-go dental care. Xylitol has been shown to have decay-preventive qualities. Experts recommend using a xylitol product immediately after meals and snacks to help reduce plaque, inhibit adhesion of bacteria to the teeth and reduce contact time of sugars on teeth. Because duration of exposure is important, gum should be chewed for approximately 5 minutes and mints should be allowed to dissolve.
Although these tips will help you keep up with your oral hygiene when you’re pressed for time, there’s just no substitute for regular brushing and flossing when it comes to fighting tooth decay. In addition, the better the brushing and flossing technique you have, the more effective you will be and the less time you will need to spend keeping your teeth in tip-top shape.
Don’t put it off, start the New Year right; make an appointment with your dentist for an exam and teeth cleaning.
Some information courtesy of the Academy of General Dentistry.