An oral care hygiene routine you love probably isn’t something that’s made its way to your to do list any time recently.
I get that.
Most of us learnt to brush our teeth as kids.
Maybe you were shown a few times, told to brush morning and night, and if you were lucky, floss regularly.
With a bit of luck, and good practice, you haven’t deviated too far from that oral care hygiene routine as an adult.
Backed up by regular six monthly hygiene visits to your dentist – and everything should be good as gold, right?
But as life gets busy, routines can fall by the wayside.
Momentum – and beautiful teeth – can be lost if we’re not consistent and diligent with an oral care hygiene routine that’s easy to live with.
Here are three simple techniques I use to stay on track – and keep my oral hygiene at its best.
#1 Make it part of your ‘daily’
I’m a routine guy.
Organised and methodical, I like to stick to routines that work for me.
Why? Because I find the structure supports me to stay on track.
Routine shows up everywhere in my life.
I go to the gym at the same time each day. I always eat breakfast, (my favourite of which is an acai bowl). Every new Define Dental patient experiences our signature Comprehensive Oral Assessment.
And I brush and floss my teeth every day. I deliberately do this after eating my breakfast – something else I do every day. That way, it’s automatic for me. I don’t even think about it and I don’t need to be motivated to do it.
I’m so regular with this particular routine – which I do once I’m ready for work – that if I don’t do it, my four year old daughter will pull me up.
Some people might think that routines like this leave no space for imagination.
I think of it differently. The way I look at it, routines like the gym and daily oral hygiene create a kind of freedom.
Without the concern of having done enough, a routine provides certainty and confidence that a haphazard and less structured approach never will.
#2 Commit to yourself
Many people aren’t aware that their oral hygiene is actually one of the strongest indicators for good overall health.
Shown to be closely linked to heart disease and diabetes, poor oral hygiene can show up in a person with chronic and long term consequences.
Like many of my colleagues, I’m a big fan of the ‘prevention is better than cure’ school of thought. And I always will be.
But it’s not just because I’m a dentist.
If oral hygiene hasn’t been high on your agenda, making it a priority requires a conscious shift in thinking.
At its most fundamental level, it means prioritising yourself and your health. Yes, even if you’re a parent.
As parents or carers of others, we can tend to neglect our own priorities. Little things – like brushing and flossing – can take a back seat as other ‘more important’ commitments arise.
My view? There’s no commitment that’s more important that the one to yourself.
Making good oral hygiene part of that self-care helps fulfil that commitment.
#3 Back up brushing and flossing with regular hygiene visits
Regular brushing and flossing is great, but a good oral hygiene routine will also factor in regular hygiene visits.
By regular hygiene visits I mean checking in with your dentist or hygienist consistently.
A good rule of thumb for most people is every six months. However, depending on a person’s general and oral health, I might recommend making that visit more or less frequently.
I have some patients who I see every four months; others, every nine or twelve months.
It really does depend on the individual. If you have any concerns, your dentist or hygienist will be the best person to help schedule this aspect of your oral hygiene routine.
Seeing your dentist or hygienist regularly means your oral health can be tracked. The big bonus, it helps prevent small, manageable issues from becoming more complex problems to solve.
To sum up…
I realise an oral hygiene routine isn’t necessarily the most exciting part of life, however the simple things rarely are.
What I do know is a well executed routine will keep you healthy and smiling a whole lot longer than no routine at all.
Need help with your oral hygiene routine?
Book in for a Comprehensive Oral Assessment with our dentist. Once we’ve established where you’re at, we can refer you to Sima, our resident hygienist. Sima is dedicated to improving the dental health of our patients. Enthusiastic about oral hygiene, she works hard to make sure Define Dental patients know how to brush and floss – and actually enjoy it.
Owned by Dr Les Jabbour, Define Dental is located in Benowa. As the Gold Coast’s premier dental practice that’s been providing quality dental care to local residents longer than any other, Define Dental offer a vast range of dental treatment options for everyone including, teeth whitening, dental implants, veneers and more.