Read any toothpaste box and you will see the same three basic rules for good oral care. Brush twice daily. Floss regularly. Visit your dentist twice a year. The first rule is easy to regularly follow. Flossing is another story. Some people don’t floss because it’s time consuming. Others don’t floss correctly. But when life’s changes cause you to lose your dental insurance, going to the dentist becomes unaffordable, especially if you lost your insurance due to employment cessation. If you are experiencing a large gap in dental visits, don’t fret. There are still ways to keep that beautiful smile (or at least keep your teeth). You must put more effort into maintaining good oral health
on your own.
Most people do not brush their teeth twice a day. You’d be surprised at how many don’t even brush daily. Although strongly recommended, brushing after every meal may not be easy or convenient. Brushing one’s teeth promptly after eating regularly causes gagging, which is not a pleasant picture. The two most strategic times to brush are when you first awake in the morning, and right before bed. When you first awake, all the germs that have attacked your teeth during the night and have begun to form plaque should be promptly removed. Brushing before bed not only removes the day’s junk, but it gives you a head start on your task for the morning. Use a toothpaste that is fluoridated and has been approved by the American Dental Association. Make sure your toothbrush has soft to medium bristles, never hard. Hard bristles damage gums. Change your toothbrush once every few months.
People who don’t floss miss 30% percent of tartar and other buildup. Since you aren’t getting to the dentist regularly anymore, that’s entirely too much left behind. Buy dental floss, and follow the instructions carefully. Remember, flossing is taking tartar and food off your teeth, not your gums, so there’s no need to attack that delicate tissue. Never use a sawing motion with dental floss; you’ll cause yourself much more pain than necessary. Take your time. Teeth that are not used to being flossed will bleed a bit at first, so don’t panic. For the first few weeks your gums will also be sore. These both will pass. Because of the soreness, though, it is suggested you floss after your nightly brushing to minimize the irritation. Now available is floss with a handle. Some prefer this type because the handle can make flossing less of a contortionist’s activity
Brush not just the teeth, but at the gum line. Here is where dental problems begin. Because this area is the most sensitive, it is usually the most neglected, so plaque is usually at its worst here. Pink gums mean healthy gums, darker gums indicate a problem. Unless your last three dentists have said otherwise, or unless they run in your family, brown gums point to possible gum disease. Flossing tends to lighten gums. Use Listerine. It has proven the test of time. If original Listerine’s burn is just too much too handle, Listerine offers tamer versions of itself. It also helps considerably if flossing causes too much pain.
If you have minor oral discomfort, rinse with warm salt water (approximately one teaspoon per one and a half cups). One part water to one part hydrogen peroxide also makes a good mouth rinse. Both solutions will take care of oral bleeding.
If you use all these tips regularly, you will greatly slow down the formation of plaque on your teeth, boost oral health, and undoubtedly impress your dentist when your insurance is reestablished.