How To Keep Your Smile Healthy Between dental Cleanings

*UPDATE* As of 5/4, we are open to see all patients for all services. We have new safety protocols in place to keep everyone safe.  Give us a call at 757-229-1224 to schedule an appointment.

At the office of James A. Burden DDS and Associates, we highly recommend visiting the dentist twice a year to have your regular cleaning completed in the absence of periodontal disease. But a lot can happen within those six months! So how can you keep your smile healthy and clean between visits? Here are a few top tips from Dr. Burden!

1. Practice Good At-Home Oral Care

Good dental health starts at home. While regular 6-month appointments with Dr. James Burden will help ensure your mouth is healthy, preventive visits are not enough to prevent gum disease and tooth decay on their own. Great dental health starts at home. So make sure that you:

  • Brush at least twice a day for two minutes – Be very thorough, and ensure that you clean the front, back, and chewing surfaces of each tooth. Don’t forget to brush around your gum line, too! This helps remove bacteria that cause gum disease
  • Floss once per day – Brushing alone cleans only about 60% of your tooth’s surfaces. Flossing is essential for cleaning the rest of your teeth, and removing plaque, bacteria, and food particles. Getting in the habit of flossing once per day is a great way to boost your oral health!
  • Brush at the right time of day – If you brush twice a day, you should brush once in the morning after breakfast, and once at night after your final meal of the day. This will help remove the maximum amount of bacteria from your mouth. Brushing 3 times a day? That’s even better! You should brush once after breakfast, once after lunch, and once before bed to maximize the effectiveness of your oral hygiene routine.

2. Maintain A “Tooth-Healthy” Diet 

Cleaning your teeth regularly will improve your oral health, but your diet has a lot to do with your oral health, too. Try to maintain a “tooth-healthy” diet, and avoid eating and drinking things like starchy snacks (crackers, chips), sweets like candy, cookies, and desserts, and sugary drinks like juice, soda, and cocktails.

Instead, try to eat a diet of mostly fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and minimally processed foods. You should avoid sugary beverages entirely, and choose water or milk instead.

In addition, avoid snacking too much. It’s better for your oral health to consume a larger amount of food in one sitting. Snacking all day leads to high levels of sugar and starch on your teeth, which contributes to decay.

3. Avoid Risky Behaviors That Could Damage Teeth

Beyond keeping your teeth healthy with a proper diet and teeth cleaning routine, you should also avoid doing things that could damage your teeth. You should:

  • Avoid chewing hard foods like almonds and ice with your front teeth
  • Avoid eating gummy or sticky foods and candies if you have a lot of dental work like fillings or crowns
  • Stop chewing on non-food objects like pens, pencils, and fingernails
  • Never use your teeth as “tools” to do things like rip tape or open a bag or packages

Avoiding these behaviors can ensure that you don’t damage a natural tooth or your dental work, and that your smile will remain healthy even when you can’t see the dentist.

Need Help For A Dental Emergency? We’re Here For You! 

Hopefully, these above tips will help you keep your mouth healthy until you can come into our office for a routine appointment. But if you have an emergency, contact us at (757) 229-1224. Dr. Burden can still see patients on a case-by-case basis, and give you the help you need in Williamsburg.