These are a few of my favourite things: Elevating your dental hygiene routine.
Do you ever wonder what will set apart the “mundane” routine to something you look forward to? I feel like one of the biggest pieces that is missing in our oral care routine is that it feels like another chore, and we do it on auto-pilot. It’s not something that people look forward to, and that’s the problem! So, how do we change this…? Hmmm….
I’m suggesting that we start to make it feel special, and I believe it’s by using tools and picking out items that you enjoy or look forward to. Recently I tried out a new toothpaste-seriously it blew my mind. This toothpaste tastes like fuzzy peaches, and I absolutely love it, and I can’t wait to brush my teeth-I’ve even brushed a little more because I’m so excited to use it. Maybe for you it’s not the toothpaste, but it’s the new electric toothbrush that you’ve received at Christmas; it can be anything!
Now, let’s say you’ve found your new unicorn oral care product/tool, and you’re absolutely loving using it; what do you think the result of this new actions will be? Well, I’m going to wager that it may mean your oral health will have improved somehow, and then your next dental visit may be a bit more pleasant.
What do you think?
Now, I’m going to add in another layer here. Consistent oral care habits (your oral care routine) pay off long term with decreased costs in dental care, more pleasant dental visits, and teeth that will last a lifetime. I’d also say that in general most people I encounter want to save money with their dental care, and you do that by having a routine that you consistently perform, and then you will reap those rewards. The elevated oral care routine is the essential foundation to oral health that you will do everyday for a lifetime. Yes, that’s right; it’s a lifetime commitment to your oral health.
So, what are the foundations to an oral care routine?
· Flossing/Interdental cleaning at least once a day
· Brushing twice a day with a toothpaste that remineralizes
· Consuming a healthy diet with reduced acid exposure on teeth
· Regular visits to ensure any changes/concerns are addressed sooner than later
So, how do you get to that point?
- Make a change
- Start small
- Just get at it
Ok, maybe it’s a bit more complicated… Let’s say you are a person who brushes 1-2 times a day and flosses sometimes (BUT, that’s really sometimes never-or maybe when you feel food stuck in there). Your gums bleed when you do floss, and sometimes when you brush, but you don’t feel like you have any problems. Well, news flash. You have gingivitis, and potentially periodontitis (irreversible gum disease). Gingivitis can turn into Periodontitis if you continue this path of inconsistency. If your gums bleed, then it’s a problem. It’s typically a very slow progression that you can’t “feel”. The goal pink gums that don’t bleed to touch! Back to my question…
How do you go from bleeding red gums to pink that don’t bleed? Start with one thing first; for example, if you only brush 1-2 times a day, then shoot for twice a day consistently, if you don’t floss/interdental clean very often, then start with 3-4 times a week, and then work your way up to what’s recommended; it’s baby steps, and you may need to ask a professional for some ideas. Your Dental Hygienist can help you with that as your needs may be different than someone else. I always say the “tissues/gums” tell a story, and everyone’s tissues are telling a different one. What that means is if your gums are pink, don’t bleed, and you have healthy periodontal recordings, then maybe you are good where you’re at, or maybe it’s a blood bath, but you don’t know until you start attending dental hygiene visits consistently with a Dental Hygienist, and try their suggestions on what you can “tweak” for habits. Most importantly, their job is to help you get to oral health!
At To The Root Dental Hygiene, we look at the “whole” person-dental hygiene is more complex than just brushing and flossing, and we want to help you prevent dental issues; feel free to reach out with questions or concerns! There’s also other resources that may be of interest: https://www.dentalhygienecanada.ca/ is one I use daily at work because I like their printouts to give people to read later!
As I stated in the beginning, here’s my list of favourite things currently:
- Using a tongue scraper once a day
- Using the waterflosser (https://www.waterpik.ca/) used 3-4 times a week (with a tablespoon of mouthwash in it and especially after popcorn!)
- Using the Curaprox Velvet toohbrush twice a day (https://en.boutique.oralscience.com/collections/toothbrushes/products/cpx-cs-12460)
- Using BeYou (https://en.boutique.oralscience.com/products/curaprox-be-you-toothpaste-peach-apricot) and Carifree Pro Gel (https://www.nationaldental.shop/collections/carifree/products/1100-gel-mint) toothpaste (sometimes I like to switch it up)
- Getting my teeth cleaned every 3 months
To conclude, the main point is to have a solid foundation to your oral care routine, and it doesn’t need to be rigid-like at 8AM I must ______. It can be done at midnight or lunch. It can be done upside down or at work. It can also bring you joy like my new toothpaste does for me, or that feeling of freshness after a waterflossing adventure! Make your routine work for you, ensure you complete the essential tasks.
I guess the question here is: what is one thing you could change about your oral care routine?