Most people know that dental care is important, yet we do not pay as much attention to our teeth and gums as we should. We brush our teeth, sometimes floss, and leave it up to the dentist to tell us how our mouth is doing without checking on things ourselves.
No one is suggesting that your checkup is going to be as effective as a dentist’s. But by regularly going over your teeth and gums, you can get a better idea of your oral health and start treating yourself. Here are some key signs and steps to consider.
Looking for Blood
Have you ever noticed blood when brushing and especially flossing? That is something to pay attention to. While the causes of the bleeding can vary, it normally occurs when your gums are irritated or diseased.
It should be noted that the prescribed solutions are slightly different if you are bleeding when brushing as opposed to flossing. In brushing’s case, this is normally caused by excessive, overzealous brushing. Do not stop brushing. However, make your motions gentler and use a softer brush.
If you are bleeding from flossing, do not stop flossing but focus more efforts on that area when you brush and floss. Hopefully, the bleeding should stop within 7-10 days. If it does not, it could indicate something more serious, and you should see a dentist.
Most people focus heavily on the health and color of their teeth, but the gums are just as important. You cannot have healthy teeth with unhealthy gums, and unhealthy gums can lead to chronic and painful diseases.
Fortunately, checking on your gums is not that difficult. After brushing, pull down your lip and look at your gums. Then run a finger along them. The color should be pink, and there should be no pain. If the color is red or white, that should be a concern. Make sure to start brushing more and check with a dentist if it persists.
Checking your Breath
We cannot easily tell how bad our breath is on our own, and many people will be too polite to outright tell you that your breath is bad. But you should regularly check on your breath not for society’s sake, but or your health. Bad breath is caused by bacteria and food which produce odors, sometimes from rotting.
To check on your breath, wash your hands and lick your wrist with as much of your tongue as possible, not just the tip. Then smell your wrist. If you do not smell anything, good. If you do, you will need to do something about it.
There are all sorts of pills and mouthwashes which promises to relieve bad breath, but these are mostly temporary. To permanently fix bad breath, make sure to brush all parts of your mouth, including your tongue. Also make sure to drink water, not soda nor coffee, to keep your mouth wet.
Dental health is not something which can be done twice a year at a dentist and then forgotten. It is a constant process to make sure that your teeth and gums are healthy. While there are other things you can do to check on your health like using an interdental brush, these steps are simple and easy enough for someone concerned about their oral health.