Spring Cleaning

The time has finally come, gone are the dreary, cold wintery days, Spring has officially sprung! Spring is the season of growth and fresh starts, it’s the reason many people like to start the season off with a little spring cleaning. A new season and a clean slate! While you’re sweeping up cobwebs and cleaning out your closet, you might want to consider cleaning up your dental hygiene routine as well!

At Willow Springs Dental we think it’s important to take some time to check in on our oral and dental health, freshen up our routine, and pick back up with any habits we may have accidentally let slip to the wayside during those cold months. Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Check out our recommendations for the perfect dental spring cleaning!

Revisit Your Dental Hygiene Routine

We know, life gets busy sometimes. You’ve got work, kids, school, a home to keep clean, a personal life to tend to, the last thing on your mind is staying on top of a multi step dental routine. But now that it’s the season of fresh starts, it’s the prefect opportunity to take a look at your dental hygiene routine and maybe pick back up on some good habits you left behind in 2022. There are four main areas we suggest focusing on when looking at your oral health; brushing, flossing, scraping and washing!

Brush Up! Brushing your teeth is critical to keeping good oral health, and we don’t just mean a quick ten second brush when you wake up in the morning, it’s also important that you’re brushing properly. For starters, that means brushing for two minutes, twice a day. As far brushing your teeth correctly, we suggest taking a look at the American Dental Association’s (ADA) tips on how to ensure you’re brushing your teeth correctly.

  1. Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums.
  2. Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth wide) strokes.
  3. Brush the outer surfaces (the front of your teeth), the inner surfaces (the back of your teeth), and the chewing surfaces (the tops and bottoms) of your teeth.
  4. To clean the inside surfaces, or the back, of the front teeth, tilt your toothbrush vertically and make several up and down strokes. 5. Repeat twice daily for two minutes each time.

Don’t forget to make sure you’re brushing with a toothpaste that contains fluoride. It helps your teeth become more resistant to tooth decay by strengthening your tooth enamel, and it helps prevent cavities. If you’re unsure if your toothpaste contains fluoride, the American Dental Association (ADA) has a helpful list of ADA accepted fluoride toothpastes so you can be sure! Some brands you may recognize on the list are Aim, Colgate, Crest, Arm & Hammer, and Sensodyne.

Actually Floss. We don’t just want you to tell your dentist you floss because you think it will make them happy, we want you to actually floss because it’s important to your dental health! Ideally you should add flossing to your daily dental hygiene routine. Flossing once a day helps to prevent cavities and gum disease while also helping to remove plaque. According to the American Dental Association, plaque contains bacteria that feeds on leftover food or sugar in your mouth, and when that happens, it releases an acid that can eat away at the outer shell of your teeth and cause cavities. If you don’t remove plaque by brushing and flossing, it can eventually harden into a rough substance called tartar which collects along your gum line and can lead to gum disease. And once tartar forms, only your dentist can remove it (ADA, 2023).

Scrape Away! Do you have a tongue scraper? If not, now is the perfect time to add one in to your routine! Brushing or scraping your tongue each time you brush your teeth helps to remove bacteria that has built up and settled on the surface of your tongue throughout the day. If you neglect cleaning your tongue, over time the build up of bacteria can contribute to tooth decay and cause bad breath. And no one wants that!

Swish Swish. Using a therapeutic mouthwash in your oral health routine helps to prevent and control plaque, gingivitis, bad breath and tooth decay. Mouthwash is an important addition to flossing and brushing as it can reach places that floss and toothbrushes otherwise can’t.

The Perfect Dental Spring Cleaning Checklist

On top of reviving your dental hygiene routine, we have a few other tips for the optimal dental spring cleaning!

Swap Out Your Toothbrush – When was the last time you got a new toothbrush or swapped out your toothbrush head with a fresh one? If you’re not able to answer that question, it’s definitely time for a new toothbrush. A tell tale sign your toothbrush needs to be replaced is if it’s worn out and the bristles are frayed. A good rule of thumb suggested by the ADA is to replace your toothbrush every three to four months.

Clean Your Toothbrush Holder – Toothbrush holders typically tend to fly under the radar when it comes to oral health. It’s not as common to think about caring for the inanimate object that holds your toothbrush, but think of all the germs that accumulate in your bathroom! Those are some germs you don’t want anywhere near the thing that’s supposed to clean your mouth!

Check Expiration Dates – Did you know dental care products can expire? Well now you do! So be sure to take a look at your toothpaste and mouthwash and throw them out and replace them if they’re past their expiration date.

Schedule a Professional Spring Cleaning – The final task to check off your list when doing your dental spring cleaning, is to schedule a professional dental cleaning with your dentist! We suggest visiting your dentist twice a year to help prevent oral health issues such as gum disease or tooth decay. Preventative dentistry services help you avoid bigger dental health issues in the future!

Dental Spring Cleaning at Willow Springs Dentistry

There you have it, the perfect dental spring cleaning checklist! In need of a dentist for that professional cleaning we mentioned? Our team at Willow Springs Dental would love to serve you, give us a call or schedule a consultation today!