As dentists, we have patients constantly apologizing, justifying, and making excuses for not caring for their teeth to the fullest extent. Listen, we get it, and we’re not judging. We even fall into tooth care laziness ourselves; probably everyone does, so apologizing and feeling ashamed isn’t necessary.
That being said, being consistently lazy with oral hygiene isn’t a good idea and will land you in dental hot water with plaque build-up, cavities, gum disease and more. Don’t worry though; we’ve got a handful of dentist-approved tips about tooth care for lazy people so you can keep your teeth (and mouth) healthy and looking great.
Flossing seems to be the most difficult part of an oral hygiene routine for most people to keep up consistently. Most patients will brush twice daily – no problem, but ask them about flossing, and they haven’t truly incorporated it into their routine. That’s a shame because flossing is just as, if not more important than brushing. You can read more about the ins and outs of flossing here.
If you’re averse to flossing, we have a couple of alternatives that make flossing easier and a little less time-consuming. The answer is flossing sticks also known as flossing picks; the best way to floss without the hassle and trickiness of regular floss or the bacterial grossness, and of course, no more cutting off the circulation in your fingers.
Here’s what a flossing stick looks like:
They are super convenient because they’re easy to grip, super maneuverable and much easier to take with you on the go for a quick floss after a restaurant meal.
No matter, if you’re running late, skipping brushing and flossing your teeth isn’t where you should look to make up some time. Oral hygiene is too important to overlook, so that means many patients will rush through the process, which isn’t good.
Brushing your teeth while you’re in a rush can cause you not to clean properly, use bad technique and apply too much pressure. Teeth that aren’t cleaned properly can lead to plaque build-up, gum disease, bad breath, etc. and brushing with bad technique can damage tooth enamel and your gums and cause them to recede.
What’s the answer? Consider a radius toothbrush that features a large toothbrush head whose surface area spreads out the pressure you apply to save the enamel of your teeth. You’ll need to pay attention to make sure you’re brushing your teeth with the correct technique, but at least it’s one less thing to think about when you’re in a hurry.
Sometimes, it’s not that you intentionally neglect flossing; you just forget about it. If it’s not already ingrained in your routine, then it can be a tough thing to remember to do, especially if all you want to do is go to bed and sleep.
You could put sticky notes on the bathroom mirror as a reminder, keep the floss (or flossing stick) placed on top of your toothbrush, or floss at irregular times, like when you think about doing it. The key is to get used to a flossing routine because once you’ve been doing it for a week, your teeth won’t feel clean unless you’ve done it. This natural cue is the best way to remember flossing, even if it takes a bit of discipline initially.
We’ve all been there, staggering to the bathroom on our way to bed, thinking that standing in front of the mirror for a few minutes to brush and floss feels like a monumental task.
While we can’t help with your sleep deprivation (assumedly), we can suggest that you keep a toothbrush next to your bed. Why? So you can dry brush – no water and sink required. It’s not the best feeling in the world, but brushing dry is still very effective at loosening up food particles and making sure your teeth and mouth stay healthy. Keep a glass of water nearby too, so you can rinse and swallow afterwards.
Sometimes, not brushing your teeth can come down to not having a fresh and clean toothbrush in your home. A toothbrush that’s filthy, stinky and with bristles that look like a hayfield is never conducive to an enjoyable toothbrushing experience. It’s not just about aesthetics and enjoyment either; a past-due toothbrush can damage your gums and won’t do a good job cleaning between your teeth.
Next time you’re at the store, try to remember to stock up on toothbrushes. Buy a stack of ten if you need to; just make sure you have spares on hand for when you notice your current toothbrush is looking a little shabby.
If you know that you’ve been slacking on taking care of your teeth and neglecting your oral health, then scheduling dental cleaning appointments is important. Visiting the dentist often isn’t a replacement for at-home care, but it can help you avoid plaque build-up and the issues that come along with it. If you think about it, a dental cleaning is roughly the same price as a moderately priced visit to your hairstylist, and what’s more important – your hair or the health of your mouth?
This tip concerns prevention more than making your oral hygiene routine easier. This involves doing some pre-maintenance during the day, especially after meals. Order water with your meals, so you can hydrate and flush your mouth. Choose some hard vegetables for their natural brushing properties, and limit the amount of sugar you ingest. You can also adjust how you sip staining beverages like coffee or red wine if you’re worried about staining or rinse your mouth after imbibing.
Whatever you need to do to stay on top of your oral hygiene routine – you need to do it! You don’t want to neglect your teeth and mouth, otherwise, you’ll end up with more expensive visits to the dentist, and an increased risk of tooth and gum problems.
If any of the tips we’ve described above can help, that’s great, but remember that repetition is the best way to ingrain something into your routine (and your mind). So, stick with it, brush and floss your teeth, no matter what, and you’ll do just fine.
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