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DIY is essential to your dental health

We’re not suggesting you should attempt a filling or extract a tooth on your own, but between visits to our office, you make the difference in maintaining your dental health.

The most obvious method of cleaning your teeth, of course, is brushing. You are bombarded with advertising touting the benefits of one toothbrush or toothpaste above another, but the answer is simple. Keep it simple. A soft brush is best to avoid damaging tooth enamel, and in toothpaste fluoride is the key ingredient. Beyond that, find a taste you can live with. In fact, the simpler your toothpaste the better as many that claim powerful ingredients can actually wear away enamel and cause problems for those with sensitive teeth over the long run.

Flossing is equally important though often neglected. Find a way to work it into your routine. Some people like to keep floss close at hand so they can clean their teeth soon after eating, when the discomfort of food debris motivates them to do so. Others find that doing the top in the morning and the bottom in the evening helps them get the job done. Still others floss their whole mouth in one session, and truth be told it doesn’t matter what time you do it, as long as you follow the recommended once-a-day minimum.

Mouth washes have always been considered optional, and for many people are not necessary. In fact, they can contain harsh chemicals and wear away enamel. If you can’t live without that minty fresh feeling, be an educated consumer and check the ingredients on the label to be sure you are totally comfortable with what you put in your mouth. Feel free to discuss your choices with us at your next visit.

Beyond brushing and flossing, there are other things you can do to keep your mouth clean and healthy on a daily basis. Choose healthy foods and drink plenty of water during and after meals. If you indulge in a sugary, starchy or acidic food, eat it during a meal or soon afterward when the saliva in your mouth is already stimulated. Saliva will help wash those unwanted sugars and acids away. Some research shows sugarless gum also promotes good dental health by stimulating saliva, so feel free to freshen your breath and satisfy your sweet tooth at the same time.

Of course, regular professional cleanings, every six months, is very important, and make an appointment at the first sign of pain or discomfort. To make an appointment call 239-936-0597 or schedule online at

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