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Establishing A Routine Is Essential To Maintaining Excellent Oral Health

June 29, 2016
Anne Balfour, DDS
By Anne B. Balfour, DDS
Park Dental Ridgepark

As a general dentist, I often have patients ask me how they can fit a healthy dental routine into their busy lives. Between work, practices and meals, they believe there’s barely enough time to brush their teeth, let alone floss. Fortunately, I tell them, fitting in a healthy routine for their teeth is easier than many believe. Using myself as an example, I show them that having healthy teeth is not only easy, but also extremely rewarding.

My mornings generally start early with a 6 a.m. alarm. Right away I hop out of bed and brush my teeth with my Sonicare toothbrush, leaving me feeling clean and refreshed. I then have a glass of water to rehydrate, while avoiding the surprising amount of sugar in most juices. Although my six-year-old twins are still asleep, they know to brush their teeth with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste when they get up. And as for the question of whether to have your kids brush before or after breakfast, I’d say if you can get them brushing at all, you’re doing a great job!

Soon after leaving my house, I pull into my Ridgepark office for my first patient at 7:00 a.m. While some of these early mornings can feel tiring, I know my patients appreciate the ability to come in before work. I usually have both breakfast and lunch in-between patients and wrap up the day around 2:30 p.m. To keep my breath smelling fresh, I opt to brush my teeth again rather than chewing gum due to potential jaw problems.

After work, it’s time to pick my boys up from school and drive them around to soccer practice or afterschool activities. While I never force my kids to eat super healthy food, I do encourage them to drink water rather than other sports drinks to keep their teeth healthy and avoid cavities.

Once the kids’ afterschool activities are over, my husband and I cook dinner for the family to eat together. Then, after some quality family time, it is time to get ready for bed. When my kids were younger, I opted to brush their teeth, ensuring that they get at least one quality brushing a day. Now that they are older, I merely supervise. It is crucial that parents are involved with their kid’s brushing until approximately 10 years of age to keep their teeth healthy and establish strong brushing and oral hygiene habits. I then brush my own teeth and floss before going to bed. It is important to remember that you don’t have to floss at night; instead, floss when it is most convenient. And while you are encouraged to floss once a day, realistically aim for at least three times a week to keep a healthy smile.

If you have any other questions about oral hygiene, all of us at Park Dental would love to answer your questions. Please feel free to make an appointment at a practice near you. We look forward to seeing you!

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