Dental assistants help spread the word about dental hygiene
Every day at the Harris School of Business, the dental assistant students are hard at work learning about dental hygiene and how to take care of your pearly whites. How would you rate your own dental hygiene on a scale of 1 to 10? Do you make an effort to protect your teeth and gums? Or do you take shortcuts and simply hope for the best? If so, try these key tips to help you improve your dental habits.
Brush twice a day…and be thorough!
Most dentists recommend that you brush twice or three times per day.
- The best times to brush are after breakfast and before bed. You might also want to brush your teeth after lunch to remove food particles.
- Time matters! When you brush, try to brush gently for about 30 seconds in each of the four quadrants of your mouth (top right, top left, bottom right, bottom left), for a total of two minutes.
- Beware of late-night snacks. After your last brushing at night, make sure not to eat or drink anything else (except water).
- Get a new toothbrush three or four times per year. This helps to minimize the build-up of bacteria.
- Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
Floss once a day
Flossing is the best way to prevent the build-up of plaque on your teeth and between your teeth. Make sure to floss at least once a day, following these flossing tips.
Avoid foods and drinks that damage your teeth
Certain foods and drinks are better for your teeth than others. As you might guess, sticky sugary treats are the worst for your teeth. Drinks can cause trouble too. This includes sugary drinks, sodas, and acidic drinks like fruit juices. They all can contribute to eroding the enamel, building up plaque, and causing tooth decay. A diet of healthy fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and unprocessed grains is not only good for your overall health, but also good for your teeth.
No time to brush mid-day? Try sugarless gum.
It’s important to keep food particles from resting in between your teeth during the day. But after lunch, you don’t always have a convenient place to brush your teeth. If this is the case, try chewing sugarless gum. It can help dislodge food and pick up residues that might damage your teeth. Swishing with water is another option.
See your dentist every 6 months
Your dentist has the tools to clean your teeth better than you can at home. Even if you are the world’s best tooth brusher, you still need to go to the dentist to have your mouth checked. Dentists can:
- Inspect your teeth for cavities
- Give you x-rays to catch cavities in between teeth
- Check for oral cancers
- Clean your teeth better than your home-care methods can
- Remove plaque that builds up even if you are a good brusher and flosser
Teach your children well
You can begin brushing your children’s teeth as soon as the first tooth erupts. As your children grow older, you can teach them how to brush and floss their own teeth carefully. Just like with adults, it is important to schedule regular dentist appointments every six months. Ask your child’s dentist about using sealants on your child’s molars to help prevent decay.
Wear sports guards
If you participate in sports that may cause injury to your teeth, be sure to wear a mouth guard. Broken teeth can be very costly or impossible to fix, and getting implants is also a time-consuming and expensive process. You want to protect the teeth you have!
We hope these dental hygiene tips will help you realize the importance of protecting all of your teeth. With good home care and regular trips to the dentist, your teeth will be happy!
The Harris School of Business offers a dental assistant training program at three of our campuses: Upper Darby, PA (near Philadelphia); Wilmington, DE; and Voorhees, NJ. Check us out online and see if your future career path might begin with us.