Visiting the dentist isn’t the only way you can take good care of your teeth. In fact, there are like a hundred of other ways you can do your teeth justice. But let’s just limit our discussion to several of those ways today – unless you want to read a whole novel on proper dental hygiene. Just say the word and I wouldn’t mind writing it.
Nah, just kidding. Who said dentists don’t joke? I actually do mind writing that much. Really.
Going back to our dental care topic, taking excellent care of our teeth is not an option – it’s a must. Trust me, you wouldn’t want to go a day without your pearly whites. It’s torture. Sure, we have modern technology to help us get teeth replacements and substitutes, but they would never be able to offer the same experience authentic teeth can. Even regular tasks such as eating, drinking, talking, smiling, or laughing would be terribly difficult – or awkward – in the absence of our four best buds: incisors, canines, bicuspids, and molars.
Those four are the types of teeth you have, btw.
Anyway, I’ve been going on and on about how important our teeth are but it really goes down to the question “How should we take care of them?”
Well, you can start by having the right dental tools in the comfort of your own home. Don’t worry. They’re not too special or expensive. You can even purchase them at local convenience stores! I know that you know what kinds of teeth cleaning tools I’m referring to. You already know, but you’ll also be surprised how many of these you still don’t have readily available in your house. But oh well, that’s the funny thing about being human – we often forget the most important things first!
So to give you a refresher, here are some items you should really include on this weekend’s grocery list:
Well, duh. I know. Nothing says dental care more than a toothbrush. Even without me telling you, I’m sure that you would’ve bought one for yourself anyway. Or, would you?
Just kidding. Although buying a toothbrush for oneself is already a given, the real question lies whether you’re buying the right kind of toothbrush for yourself. Every person has different sets of teeth and gums. Some are very strong and resilient to damage while others are too fragile and sensitive. The first thing you need to know before you even decide to buy a toothbrush for yourself is which between these two categories you belong in – the resilient or sensitive one? If you happen to have resilient teeth then you won’t have much of a problem with using any type of toothbrush. However, if you have sensitive teeth (like me) your choice of toothbrush will decide whether you’ll have a comfortable brushing experience or not.
If you have sensitive gums and/or teeth, a soft-bristled brush would help you out big time. This type of toothbrush is made of material light enough to not cause any undue damage to your gums or unnecessary sensitiveness to your teeth. If you’re unsure what to buy, you can always ask for recommendations from your family dentist.
Also, it would be good to have several toothbrushes in stock. It is recommended to have your toothbrush changed every 4 to 6 weeks or so to prevent oral-related diseases and infections. For those who already caught an infection, it is also advised to change your toothbrush the moment you start feeling better to avoid reinfection.
Toothpaste (Preferably with Fluoride)
Next, we have the toothbrush’s trusty old partner – toothpaste. Well, you can’t brush your teeth without toothpaste now – can you? Well, strictly speaking, you can but it wouldn’t be as clean as when you do it with toothpaste. But I know that you already knew that.
Anyway, here are a few extra toothpaste tips you may want to live by.
Whenever available, choose the kind of toothpaste that has fluoride. Having a little fluoride applied to your teeth during brushing can really help strengthen your teeth’s enamel and overall health. Fluoride is well-known for its whitening capabilities too. So it would be great to use on stained teeth. Surely, after prolonged use, you’ll start to see your teeth becoming white and pearly again.
However, too much use of fluoride (especially in children) may also result to a condition known as Dental Fluorosis and may affect the development of permanent teeth. You can still use fluoride toothpaste for your children at home; just make sure that they’re old enough to spit out all the excess fluoride after they brush their teeth.
A pack of dental floss can really go a long way – literally and metaphorically speaking. The dental floss may be tens of meters long but its length can easily be outdone by its usefulness. Without dental floss, 35% of our teeth’s surface is out of reach. This means that our risk of getting tooth decay will increase as well. Without dental floss, food stuck in-between teeth would be difficult to clean as well – especially strands of meat or fibers of vegetables. And boy, would that be annoying.
Dental floss has also been studied to help prevent certain illnesses including heart disease. It really makes you want to go “Whoa” right. After all, how can a certain piece of hygienic thread be so useful? Dental floss is practically one of the best dental tools you can have at home. Just tuck away a few boxes, they don’t run out fast anyways!
Last on our shopping list is mouthwash. Nothing beats the germ-killing action mouthwash offers. You can easily say goodbye to bacteria when you have one of these babies lying around. Mouthwash solutions are handy to use – even if you don’t use them for gargling. It can help disinfect some important dental tools and apparatuses you have at home – your toothbrush especially. The next time you get a bad cold; don’t forget to submerge your toothbrush in a glass of mouthwash for a couple of minutes before using it again. It’ll help get rid of those flu-causing bacteria, killing any chances of the same sickness from reoccurring!