Learn free and low-cost ways to improve your health
Today’s increasing everyday costs mean many Americans are looking for ways to save money. One simple way to save yourself time and money is on your at-home dental hygiene routine.
Cleaning your teeth the most effective way means you won’t have to spend money on dental problems like cavities and root canals, along with bigger health problems that can arise from oral infections, like cardiovascular disease. You don’t even need to spend money on a toothbrush. If you visit the dentist for a routine cleaning every six months, you’ll usually get a free one.
Follow these tips to effectively clean your teeth at home:
- Dr. Chuck Reinertsen says you don’t need to brush your teeth twice a day. If you do a sloppy job twice a day, it’s not as effective as cleaning your mouth once a day the right way. He recommends spending eight to 10 minutes once a day thoroughly cleaning your teeth.
- Start by thoroughly brushing your teeth on the tongue side, the cheek/lip side, and the chewing or biting surfaces. Use toothpaste and a toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes work great. Take your time. Brushing will remove plaque buildup from your teeth and any harmful bacteria. It’s also helpful to stimulate your gums, which increases blood flow and keeps your gums healthy.
- After you brush your teeth, you need to clean between your teeth. If you use floss to do this, be sure to wrap the floss around your tooth, hugging it with the floss, and slide it up and down several times. Or, you can use a Water Pik, Shower Breeze, or any other directed water irrigation device that will shoot water between your teeth. Be sure to do this for at least five seconds between each set of teeth so you can remove all the food particles properly.
- Rinse your mouth. Brushing and flossing loosens up the bacteria and food particles. Directed water irrigation with a Water Pik, Shower Breeze, or similar device flushes the loose bacteria and food out of your mouth. You don’t want loose bacteria and food articles floating around in your mouth, so make sure to flush it out.
Daily teeth cleaning can make a big difference in your dental health. It’s also important to visit the dentist every six months or what time frame your dentist recommends for a cleaning. The dentist will also screen you for oral cancer and check for infections and gum disease. The earlier you catch these types of conditions, the better, so they don’t lead to bigger health problems. If you think you can’t afford to visit the dentist for regular cleanings and checkups, we can help you find affordable dental care options in your area. Visit this website to find resources in your community.
Remember, the best defense against dental and health problems is prevention. The Dental Medical Convergence wants to provide you with all the information you need to care for your overall health. Most people don’t realize many diseases are connected to poor oral care. Your mouth is full of bacteria. If you don’t properly and consistently clean your mouth, the bad bacteria can enter your bloodstream and travel to your heart, brain, and other parts of your body. We’ve compiled resources for patients to help you learn the best ways to care for your teeth, which means also caring for the health of your body.