We are well into springtime at the moment, if you couldn’t already tell by the longer days, indecisive weather, flowers and leaves returning to trees, students cramming for finals, businessmen wrapping up taxes, the closing of basketball season and opening of baseball, organization of summer plans, etc. It’s also a time when most of us feel the need to purge our winter hibernation caves homes and do some deep-cleaning. It’s finally warming up again, and we want to stretch out! Clean out that clutter and dirt and get a fresh start! Oh, I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this; I am a dentist, after all… what do you expect?
So let’s all take a moment and ponder the advantages of spring cleaning your teeth! Obviously, you should be getting a regular dental checkup and cleaning about twice a year; more often if you tend to have problem areas. Spring is a great time to schedule an appointment. It’s done before the relaxed craze of the hot summer. The family’s schedule is still predictable while the kids are in school and you aren’t working around camping trips or impromptu beach days. A cleaning also generally brings a sense of freshness and freedom afterwards that’s a perfect way to begin summer.
It is always a good time to establish better habits, too, to your personal daily dental hygiene. Improvements can always be made. If you don’t floss at all, try to aim for at least three times a week; work your way up to five days a week, then at least once a day. Don’t stop brushing until you’ve given each individual tooth toothbrush attention. Set a timer or stopwatch and make yourself spend just five full minutes on your teeth. It’s not much. And a mere five minutes when you wake up and before you go to sleep translates into fewer dental visits, minimal long-term oral health problems, and no more “Hey, would you like a mint? No, really; please have a mint.”
Not to mention, you are making an effort to take care of your health and well-being. Good health looks and feels good, and even minor dental cleaning habits can make all the difference.
Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles