The old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” can be applied to countless situations. A great example is your vehicle. You would never dream of driving your car for years on end without an oil change and tune-up. It’s far too big of an investment. Having maintenance done at the recommended intervals just makes good sense since it can keep small problems from turning into big problems.
Much the same way regular maintenance on your car prevents problems in the long run, regularly seeing your dentist in New Orleans and establishing good habits at home can prevent you from needing more extensive dental work down the road. In this blog, we’ll talk more about how you can keep your oral health “tuned up” and give you some great tips for your hygiene routine.
How Do 6-Month Checkups Benefit You?
You may only think of your checkups as a chance to have your teeth polished and make sure you don’t have any cavities. But there’s a lot more that happens at these visits!
You may not realize it but your dentist and hygienist both examine all of the soft tissues in your mouth to screen for oral cancer. Your gums are also evaluated to see if you have gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss in advanced cases.
The cleaning itself can go a long way towards preventing (or treating) gum disease because even with good brushing and flossing there are tartar deposits under the gumline that you can’t access with your toothbrush and floss.
Your dentist is also looking at how effective you’re being at home with brushing and flossing. After all, even with two bi-annual cleanings what you do at home the other 363 days has a big impact!
What Can You Do at Home?
Here are some ideas for a great hygiene routine at home in between visits:
- Brush and floss – This one is no surprise! But if you struggle with this daily habit, there are some tricks to make it easier. For example, if you find yourself falling asleep before brushing at bedtime, aim to brush right after dinner each night instead. And although flossing is ideally done at night, you can always do it after lunch each day if that’s more realistic for you!
- Use the right tools – There are countless tools on the market that can make your home routine easier. Electric toothbrushes, floss picks, oral irrigators and more are all available. It’s simply a matter of finding what works for you.
- Minimize sugars – You don’t have to give sugar up completely but avoid snacking or grazing throughout the day. There’s a saying in dentistry, “Sip all day, get decay.” Even just reducing your intake of soda can make a big difference in the long run.
And don’t hesitate to ask for individualized help with your brushing and flossing technique. Remember – you and your family dentist in New Orleans are a team with the common goal of keeping your teeth and gums in excellent health!
About the Author
Dr. Kerry Plaisance and Dr. W Keith deJong are both natives of Louisiana and graduates of LSU. In addition to providing outstanding dental care they always take the time to help their patients understand how to prevent dental problems before they start. They can be reached through their website or at (504) 738-5171.