Whether you book an appointment with a dentist in Clinton, Maryland or Manhattan, New York, there are some common thoughts that go through every dentist’s mind. Every six months or so, he or she gets a good look into your mouth – each and every nook and cranny. So what are the thought going through his or her head?
I’m sure you have heard at least once before that you need to floss or eat less sweets, but is there anything else? After many years in dental school, your dentist has some valuable knowledge. Here are some helpful tops from your dentist that you might not hear at every routine cleaning or checkup.
Not all mouthwash brands are created equal
Most dentists will not tell you that mouthwash isn’t always necessary, although it does leave you with minty fresh breath. They also fail to mention that not all mouthwash brands are created equal. Some are just not even worth your time and money. Alcohol-based mouthwashes should be avoided; they have even been linked to oral cancer in some cases. If you feel the need for mouthwash after brushing, look for an “alcohol-free” label.
Read the ingredients list on your toothpaste before buying
Similarly to mouthwash, the same goes for toothpaste. The debate on whether or not fluoride is good, bad, or neutral is ongoing and inconclusive. But there are certainly other ingredients that should be avoided with no questions asked. Before you purchase your toothpaste, check out the list of ingredients. Try to avoid triclosan (found in Colgate Total); it helps to prevent gingivitis, but its endocrine-disrupting properties are linked to breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer.
For the love of God, stop smoking
We all know that too many cigarettes can lead to yellow teeth, right? Well that’s not all, it also has the potential to cause gum disease, tooth loss, and even certain cases of mouth cancer. If you’re trying to quit, just think about your pearly whites and how they might look ten years from now.
Your bleeding gums could be more serious than you think
Bleeding gums are often a sign of gingivitis, which is the first stage in potentially developing gum disease. But gum disease and diabetes can go hand in hand, so and your bleeding gums could be an early sign of diabetes. Keep an eye out for those bleeding gums, especially after flossing.
Be weary of whitening strips
It’s easy to go hard on the white strips, especially when you have a big date coming up. Although using whitening strips in moderation is just fine, there is a fine line between just enough and too much. Once you start overusing whitening products, they tend to damage the enamel. This can be irritating to the gums and lead to extreme sensitivity.
Visiting twice a year isn’t always necessary
This is one thing your dentist will NEVER tell you, mostly because they want to keep your business steady. But routine checkups are often not necessary every 6 months. There is obviously no harm in twice-yearly visits, but you could visit just once in 12 months with no issues. Of course if you are experiencing problems or have a history of oral issues, twice a year is necessary.
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