What Will Be in Your Dental Stocking?

11472309754_5fdf22e870If Santa Claus were a dentist, would you find a lump of coal in your stocking, or a fresh, shiny toothbrush? Dr. Williams, your dentist in Tigard, OR, has a list that he’s checking twice! Let’s see how you’re doing… 

1) Brushing and flossing?

This is a no-brainer. Obviously, all patients of Dr. Gregory A Williams brush their teeth at least twice a day, as recommended by the ADA. But, do you floss when you brush? Flossing is critical for gum health, because it cleans the hard-to-reach places between the teeth. If you forget to floss, bacteria love to grow in these areas and irritate your gums!

2) Hard or soft toothbrush?

Ah ha! This is a little more difficult! Unfortunately, not everyone understands that the stiffness of your toothbrush (soft, medium, or hard) is not a matter of personal preference; we aren’t talking about Goldilocks’ three bears here. Hard toothbrushes can hurt your gums, and aggressive brushing with a hard toothbrush can even cause gum recession. Everyone should use a soft toothbrush, and preferably– an electric one.

3) Do you wear a mouthguard during sports?

It might seem like “nothing will happen” but believe us– it will. Protecting your teeth during sports doesn’t only prevent nasty injuries and expensive dental procedures, it actually protects your head, too. Wearing a mouthguard has been shown to reduce mild traumatic brain injuries and concussions when an injury occurs! 

And don’t forget– wearing a mouthguard if you experience bruxism, or toothgrinding, is just as critical. Failure to protect your teeth from nocturnal grinding compromises tooth roots, wears down your teeth, and causes gum recession.

4) Do you share?

You might think the answer should be yes– but you’re wrong! When it comes to things we put in our mouths– toothbrushes, spoons, straws, and more– sharing is not a good idea. The most common incidents of “bad” sharing happen between kids, or between parents and kids. Did you taste the food before handing your daughter her dinner? Give her a different spoon, too. Sharing utensils means sharing cavity-causing bacteria, and that’s something she doesn’t need!

5) Are you up-to-date?

Before the New Year, check your schedule and make sure you’re up-to-date with your dental appointments with Dr. Williams. Keeping regular dental appointments is one of the most important things you can do to maintain dental health. Yes, we clean, check, and floss– but we also may notice things that you haven’t, and can fix minor problems before they become big ones. Remember, when it comes to dental care, prevention is the best medicine! 

So, how did you do?

Well, even if you didn’t make the list, Dental Claus would never give you coal– that stuff’s terrible for your teeth. Make your next appointment with Dr. Williams, your dentist in Tigard, OR, and get ready for next year!

Photo Credit: Stephen Hauser Photography via Compfight cc

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