Are you one of those people who prides themselves on the fact that they hardly ever have cavities? If you are, then you might be worried about the fact that your dentist in State College is closed for cleanings and virtually all non-emergency procedures because of the COVID-19 pandemic. How can you keep your teeth clean in the meantime? Here are some oral health tips to make sure your pearly whites are nice and clean until your dentist reopens their office.
Use the Right Brushing Technique
A halfhearted wipe of your teeth with your toothbrush isn’t going to cut it. Unless you brush thoroughly for two minutes at a time twice a day, plaque is going to build up on your teeth and gums. For an efficient clean, hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and use short, diagonal strokes for the fronts and chewing surfaces of your teeth. For the backs of your front teeth, where plaque loves to accumulate, use vertical strokes.
Look for the ADA Seal of Approval
The next time you make a trek to the grocery store (or better yet, order groceries online), take care when buying oral hygiene products. Toothpastes and mouthwashes with the ADA (American Dental Association) Seal of Approval contain enough fluoride to boost your oral health by strengthening your enamel against cavities.
If you remember to floss every night before bed, then you’re already ahead of the curve. However, there is a proper flossing technique to follow to ensure you’re removing as much plaque as possible. Don’t simply snap the floss in between your teeth and yank it back out. Instead, keep the floss in a “C” motion and rub it against both sides of your teeth.
Add Mouthwash to Your Routine
Many people remember to brush and floss just fine, but don’t regularly rinse with mouthwash. Your toothbrush and floss can only clean so much of your mouth. Plaque likes to build up in places where your other oral hygiene tools can’t reach, contributing to cavities and gum disease. As mentioned earlier, look for a mouthwash stamped with the ADA Seal of Approval.
Keep Your Brush Clean
The ADA has warned that keeping a cover over your toothbrush can actually create a breeding ground for bacteria. Instead, store your brush in an open area. Just be sure to keep it as far away from the toilet as possible. When you flush, particles from the toilet water are released several feet into the air and they can land on your toothbrush unless you store it far enough away.
Just because your dentist isn’t open for cleanings doesn’t mean you can’t keep your mouth clean in the meantime. Follow these oral health tips in State College and you should be cavity-free by your next checkup!
About the Author
Dr. Donald Marks graduated from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Dental Medicine and has been practicing in State College, PA since the early 1990s. He has trained under some of the finest dentists in the world, including Dr. Frank Spear. Although his practice is currently only treating dental emergencies, you can still learn more oral health tips by visiting his website.