Dr. Stephanie Vondrak graduated from the UNMC College of Dentistry in 2002. She specializes in Temporomandibular joint therapy, analysis of head, neck and facial pain, bite stabilization, Invisalign and more. Dr.Vondrak has two kids, practices Pilates and yoga and enjoys spending time with her husband. Read more from Stephanie here.
Charles Mayo, a well known American physician who co-founded the Mayo clinic, once said, "Preventative dentistry can add five years to the human life." Take a page from his book and years to your life with these five tips for better dental health.
1. Look in the mirror when you brush your teeth. Brushing effectively requires your toothbrush bristles to contact all tooth surfaces. It's easier to see what you've hit and missed if you're looking right at yourself. Try holding the toothbrush at an angle and moving the bristles in a circular motion. This will gently remove plaque and massage your gums at the same time. Think of brushing as a skill -- focus on your technique and practice, practice, practice!
2. Always brush before bed. Bed time brushing is essential in establishing excellent dental health. Remember, your teeth should be spotless when your head hits the pillow. It only takes twelve hours to form a cavity. If you sleep with dirty teeth, you're well on your way to creating new decay.
3. Only floss the teeth you wish to keep. Mouthwash, water pics and excuses won't shoo your plaque bugs away. To effectively remove plaque from in-between your teeth, flossing is the ONLY way!
4. Beware of popping and clicking in your jaw joints. In the mission to keep your teeth, don't forget the importance of healthy jaw joints. Popping and clicking in the jaws means unnecessary movement of the cartilage within the Temporomandibular Joints. This movement can trigger facial muscle pain, headaches, broken teeth, ear pain and more. If these signs and symptoms sound familiar, seek answers from your dentist on how to protect your TMJ joints for long-term dental health.
5. Straight teeth are healthier teeth. From creating confident smiles to eliminating plaque traps, you're simply more likely to brush, floss and maintain a straight, beautiful smile than a crowded one. I encourage adults of all ages to consider Invisalign or traditional orthodontic treatment for a straighter, healthier smile!
So, take the initiative and be proactive. Follow these five tips for better dental health, and you just may enjoy a longer, healthier life.