Posted September 7, 2015
“You don’t have to floss all your teeth. Just the ones you want to keep.”
This popular phrase, posted in many dental offices, takes a humorous approach to preventive dental care. Although daily tooth brushing and flossing require a little time, once the habits are developed the benefits of healthy teeth and gums are significant.
The next time you think about putting off brushing or flossing, consider these five reasons to take care of your teeth:
- Early detection – As soon as a baby’s first tooth erupts, parents and caregivers should wipe it off with a soft, damp cloth to remove sugars from beverages or foods. Schedule a dental checkup by the child’s first birthday so the dentist can check alignment, jaw development and overall health. Remember that baby teeth lay the foundation for healthy adult teeth.
- Save money – Putting off brushing and flossing provides an opportunity for decay to develop in one or more teeth, resulting in costly dental repairs.
- Avoid pain – Brush your teeth at least twice each day, after breakfast and at bedtime, and floss once daily to help remove bacteria and plaque that can build up on teeth. If it’s not removed, plaque turns into tartar, a hard, sticky substance that attracts bacteria and can lead to painful tooth decay and gum disease.
- Protect your smile – Kids, and adults, involved in sports, biking, skateboard or other athletic activities should wear a mouth guard to protect against broken teeth. Another good idea is to ask your dentist to apply sealants on the chewing surfaces of your kids’ back teeth to prevent decay.
- Thorough cleaning – Schedule dental appointments for professional cleanings and checkups at least once or twice a year, as directed by your dentist, to head off decay and check for oral and medical problems. Invest in dental benefits to assist with expenses. Research shows that people with dental insurance tend to use their benefits.