5 Steps to Spring Cleaning Your Dental Routine
Renewing Your Dental Care This Spring
Spring is a season of renewal and growth. The weather warms, plants turn green, flowers bloom, and wildlife emerges to enjoy the newfound plenty. This renewal often makes it into our homes in the form of spring cleaning as well—it’s the time when we sort through overflowing closets and scrub forgotten corners of our homes. But spring cleaning can include more than just organizing and cleaning rooms in your house! It’s actually very helpful for your oral and overall health throughout the year if you do a little spring cleaning in your dental routine as well. Just a few quick, easy steps can help prevent you from getting a cavity in the future. Here are 5 steps you can use to include your dental routine in your spring cleaning frenzy.
1. Get a new toothbrush.
Over time, the bristles of your toothbrush get worn and frayed. This makes it harder for it to do a good job of cleaning your teeth and provides more spots for bacteria to cling to and grow on the toothbrush. This is why the ADA actually recommends that you replace your toothbrush every three or four months—or earlier if you notice it beginning to look frayed. Following this guideline ensures that your toothbrush is able to do the best possible job of cleaning plaque from your teeth. Even this single step can go a long way towards improving your family’s oral hygiene and protecting you from cavities.
If you have young kids, it’s also a great chance to help renew your child’s interest in brushing their teeth by letting them pick a new, exciting toothbrush for themselves every so often. They’ll be so thrilled to brush their teeth with their new unicorn or Paw Patrol–themed toothbrush that you may not even have to remind them to brush their teeth for a while! Plus, if you’ve been thinking about switching yourself over to an electric toothbrush, it’s a good chance to try it out.
2. Clean your toothbrush holder.
Your toothbrush holder gets exposed to all the same germs that the other surfaces in your bathroom do, so it’s wise to give it a thorough cleaning every once in a while as well. It’s best to clean it every time you change your toothbrush. This way, you’ll have a germ-free toothbrush holder to put your brand new, squeaky-clean toothbrush in. Cleaning your toothbrush holder can be incredibly easy, too, as even simply popping it in the dishwasher will free it of germs.
3. Check the expiration dates.
Did you know that dental hygiene products come with expiration dates, too? Over time, the active ingredients in products like toothpaste and mouthwash become less effective. The expiration date is a reflection of this. An expired dental product isn’t directly harmful to use, but the active ingredients have lost enough of their effectiveness that it’s not beneficial to use the product, either. Expired products won’t clean your teeth effectively, which means they won’t provide protection against decay.
As a result, it’s best to go through your cabinet and check expiration dates during your spring mission to reorganize your house! Getting rid of everything that’s past its expiration date will ensure that every member of your family is using oral hygiene products that are actively improving their oral health. While you’re at it, you can also make a special bin of products that need to be used or tossed within the next couple of months—it’s a quick and simple extra step that’ll cut down on future waste.
4. Stock the bathroom with supplies.
Once you’ve gotten rid of expired dental products, it’s a great idea to stock your cabinets a little bit. Having a little extra toothpaste and mouthwash around can ensure that you don’t run out unexpectedly—which is a particular risk if you have kids! These aren’t the only products it’s wise to stock up on, though. You may want to gather items to put in your first aid kit in the event of a dental emergency. This could include gauze, a small bottle with a cap to store a lost tooth, a topical anesthetic, and a product like Save-A-Tooth. Having items like this on hand can make all the difference in a dental emergency.
5. Schedule your dental exams.
It’s also wise to go ahead and schedule dental exams for your entire family. This way, the time of year that you’re supposed to schedule your appointments for won’t sneak up on you. You’ll have plenty of time to plan around your schedule as well as the wiggle room to find a date that works wonderfully for your entire family. Scheduling family dentistry appointments like this makes the entire experience go a lot smoother.
When you speak to your dentist, you should also make sure to update them with any new medical information, such as recent diagnoses or changes in medication, as well as other relevant life events. Certain medical conditions or medications can increase your likelihood of suffering from oral health issues like gum disease, so sharing this information can impact how your dentist approaches your dental care. It helps your dentist partner with you and your family more effectively to ensure that you’re all getting the best dental care possible to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Spring cleaning has a lot of benefits, especially when you practice it regularly. It prevents issues like messiness from piling up and becoming bigger problems in the future, so the more regularly you practice spring cleaning, the easier it is. The concept is much the same when applied to your dental routine, as it helps keep your oral health in the best shape it can be. If you’re interested in getting started by scheduling a family dentistry appointment with a dentist in Rochester, NY, feel free to call our office and schedule a consultation at any time.