“It looks like you’ve had more plaque building up lately. Are you flossing every day?” Oops, I haven’t even thought about it since my last visit. “Be sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day. Just five minutes each morning, and five minutes before you go to bed will make a huge difference in the health of your teeth and gums.” I know, I know, you’ve been telling me the same thing for years.

People often do not realize the value of every cleaning appointment made with their dentist. You walk in, browse through a magazine or newsletter as you wait to be called in, take a seat in the operatory, and open wide as the hygienist’s tools whirr and buzz away. Then, when the cleaning is over and your teeth are sparkling, you are told once again that you must keep on brushing and flossing daily.

But are you really convinced that the instructions given you are as important as they say? Or do you nonchalantly drive home, disregarding — even forgetting — the advice given to you, and returning to your hit-and-miss brushing or flossing routine? Well, there is hope! Your next session could open many doors to discover the wonderful benefits associated with the basic instructions your dentist gives you! And that’s the best part: it’s easy!

A very important attribute that people often overlook is the fact that cleanings are more centered on educating you than the actual cleaning itself. The dentist’s office and staff are resources, so take advantage! Maybe the habits you have settled into are incorrect, or perhaps you have been too embarrassed to ask about a particular problem. Don’t ever hesitate to ask questions. They are there to help you and teach you valuable lessons on caring for your oral health. Be diligent in applying the information, and commit to transforming these better habits into YOUR habits!

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles


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