Routine dental care is vital for anyone striving to achieve optimum health. Dentists recommend two preventative dental visits per year, but much can happen between visits; therefore, it is crucial to get the most out of each appointment.Professional cleanings are an essential component of routine dental care and can remove plaque and tartar below the…
How To Fit Routine Dental Care Into Your Schedule
Many people may believe that they do not have time for routine dental care, which consists of daily brushing and flossing as well as periodic cleaning by a dentist. Admittedly, these tasks do take some time but should be a priority even in a busy schedule. People who do not take time for brushing, flossing, and checkups run the risk of serious dental problems, which not only take time to correct but are expensive as well.
Daily brushing and flossing
The cornerstone of effective routine dental care should be brushing and flossing on a daily basis. Flossing should be performed at least once a day. It should include the back teeth as well as the front teeth and get into the areas that toothbrushes cannot reach.
People who think they do not have time for flossing may find that they are able to multitask and floss while performing some other activity, such as watching television. Dental floss is considered the most effective tool, but some people find it uncomfortable to use. Alternatives include individual plastic flossers, cordless tools that shoot a cleansing stream of water between the teeth, and dental tape that is wider to prevent cutting into the gums.
Dentists recommend brushing after every meal or snack if possible. However, for many people with busy schedules, this is an unrealistic expectation. Therefore, dentists usually advise brushing at least twice a day, typically after breakfast and before going to bed. The duration of each toothbrushing session should be at least two minutes. Effective brushing involves reaching all accessible sides of the teeth, not just the fronts. However, because the bristles of a toothbrush cannot reach in between the teeth, brushing cannot take the place of flossing.
Regular dental cleanings
Most people need professional dental cleanings at least once a year. Some persons require them twice yearly or every six months. A dentist can recommend the frequency of cleanings for an individual patient.
Working regular dental cleanings into an already busy schedule can be a challenge, especially for people who have difficulty taking time off from work. The following tips may help.
1. Look for appointments outside regular hours
Many dentist offices offer appointments on certain days outside of the usual nine-to-five schedule. This is done specifically for people who work during the day and have difficulty arranging time off.
2. Schedule appointments early in the day
Although a patient may still need to be away from work for a short period, scheduling dental cleanings early in the day can minimize the time that a patient has to wait in the office prior to the appointment.
3. Fill out paperwork in advance
Paperwork is a necessary part of any dental practice, and a number of forms are often required from new patients. If the office can send the patient these documents to fill out in advance, it can save time and may allow the patient to be seen right away.
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