The Importance of Dental Maintenance
Last week, I had a conversation with a new patient who came to our Wausau, WI office complaining of a wisdom tooth that had been bothering him for awhile. Upon examination of his mouth, I noticed other issues, such as gum disease and cavities. I asked the patient his dental habits such as flossing, brushing, and rinsing with an antiseptic oral rinse (Listerine). The patient’s response was “I don’t have time.” This is a typical response by many patients who tend to neglect their teeth and gums. So my staff and I try to use analogies that can help these patients get motivated.
How Dental Maintenance Can Save You Money
For example, during the initial conversation with this particular patient, he admitted to me that he enjoys his sports cars. So I thought I would use an analogy that may strike a cord with him. So I asked him if I gave him a $100,000 sports car would he take care of it? Sure he said. So I told him that he had over $100,000 already, but in his mouth - his teeth. I informed the patient that a little maintenance by him will go a long way in preventing a lot of bigger issues in the future. A toothbrush, floss, and Listerine are much less expensive and easier than an oil change.
To make the routine of brushing, flossing, and rinsing easier we recommend some aids that usually helps our patients to achieve consistency for the long term.
3 Ways You Can Maintain Your Oral Health
Sonicare Electric Toothbrushes
I can not rave enough about the Sonicare electric toothbrush. I have used this brand for many years now and I love it! Go figure, a dentist is the only one who gets excited about a toothbrush. The Sonicare electric toothbrush has a solution for everyone. Take me for example, because I am very conscientious about my teeth I tend to over brush. What I mean by that is that I tend to “scrub” my gums away. Does that ring a bell? I do not care how soft of a brush you give me. I will still brush very aggressively. Well, let Sonicare prevent you from doing that, plus you get your teeth and gum feeling super clean. Talk about clean! Once you get used to using the Sonicare for about a month it is really hard to go back to a manual toothbrush. Believe me, all the staff agree. No take backs on the Sonicare. Now for those who hate to wait wondering how long I should brush, the wait is over. No problem! Sonicare has that covered too. How great is it that Sonicare tells you when to move to a different area in your mouth and also turns off when you are done. In fact, the bristle heads of the Sonicare gives you hints when you need to replace them. So about every 3 months replace it with a new bristle head and you are all set until the next time. How about that? A technology at its best: super simple. Check it out online or whoever has the best price in town. One more thing, it does not matter which model. All of the different models basically work the same.
How can a thing that looks like a string get so much negativity? People either love it or hate it. As simple as it is, the floss does amazing things for your gums and teeth. Not only does floss remove food between your teeth, but also bacteria from your gums while stimulating them for better health. As effective as your new Sonicare may be, there are certain limitations. The bristle heads on the toothbrush can not reach between your teeth below the gums. This is where all the bacteria and food are found. Just imagine what your garage smells like during the summers with week old garbage. Yuck! So just imagine what kind of odor and bacteria your gums are harboring? Once you get the hang of it, flossing literally takes less than 1 minute. I would strongly recommend using a certain kind of floss: GLIDE. It is super slick and much easier to use than regular floss. You will be able to zip through all your teeth in no time. Again, once you get into a routine, it is very hard not to floss all the time because of how different your mouth will feel if you do not floss.
Antiseptic Oral Rinse (Listerine)
This is the last part to a good dental habit and is probably the easiest. Once you floss and brush, the last thing to do is use an antiseptic oral rinse. Now there are many oral rinses out there, but Listerine has been around the longest with the most research. Pick your favorite flavor, there are so many. Rinse for about 30 seconds and do not eat or drink for about 30 minutes. It is that simple. For those patients who are experiencing dry mouth, use the non-alcohol Listerine for the antiseptic oral rinse.
I can not emphasize how much a little homework of flossing, brushing, and rinsing goes towards the bottom line on the cost of your dental care. So try my recommendations and start saving that $100,000.
For more information about maintaining your oral health, contact our Wausau, WI office by calling (715) 849-5667 to book your oral health consultation.