Here is a short list of dental-health tips that most patients have either forgotten or never knew:
Don’t eat ice cubes. It is the season for this refreshing pastime, but it can result in fractured teeth. Many older fillings are made of silver, which doesn’t bond to teeth like the white amalgams and can cause tiny cracks because of the stress of chewing hard items like cubes, candy or unpopped popcorn kernels.
Brush at 45-degree angle. To clean the sulcus (the space between the gumline and the point where gum attaches to the tooth), turn your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and get the bristles in there. A normal depth for the sulcus is 2-3 millimeters, but if it reaches 7-8 it’s time to start worrying.
Deep pocket cleaning. To clean in a particularly deep pocket, try tying a single or double knot in your floss to catch any food particles.
Flossing the back teeth. When flossing the back teeth, curve the thread around the tooth and push it underneath the gumline.
When to change your toothbrush. When the outer bristles of your brush start to flare, it’s time to change it.
Rinse until you get to your toothbrush. If you eat a sweet snack and can’t get to your toothbrush for a while, rinse with water to delay the sugar’s activity.
Stop smoking. Smoking is so destructive to teeth and gums that many periodontists won’t even treat these patients because the prognosis for recovery is so poor.
Courtesy of The American Dental Association‘s website: ada.org