Maybe you’re an Eagle Scout when it comes to caring for your teeth; or, maybe you’ve misplaced your toothbrush one too many times. Healthy habits are the building blocks for a healthy smile, and your grin could be displaying some signs of trouble to come if you’re not practicing proper care. The good news is that many people learned the basics of good hygiene and dental health as children; the bad news is that many of them have forgotten, or simply don’t think they have the time to stick to it every day.
The Healthy Teeth Quiz
So how healthy are your teeth? Open wide, take our quiz, and find out:
1) How often do you brush your teeth?
a. Morning, noon, and night. Sometimes twice.
b. You always brush your teeth in the morning (bed breath be banned!) and it’s a never-miss part of your nighttime routine.
c. Before you head out the door in the morning and usually before your head hits the pillow at night — if you’re not too tired, that is.
d. You can’t remember the last time you saw your toothbrush…
2) Your teeth are a shade of _______.
a. pageant-princess white. You go heavy on the DIY teeth whitening for that camera-ready finish.
b. natural off-white.
c. nearly yellow.
d. brown in the morning, red at night. You love your espresso and Merlot.
3) Which best describes your gums?
a. Light to dark pink and a little puffy, especially around the edges of your teeth. They tend to bleed a little when you brush.
b. Light pink without noticeable inflammation.
c. Light to dark pink in color and inflamed. You occasionally see blood while brushing.
d. The source of frequent pain and irritation with build-up around the edges of teeth.
4) How often do you floss?
a. You have floss on hand at all times; can’t risk getting caught with food in your teeth!
b. Flossing is a normal part of your morning and nighttime routine, in conjunction with brushing.
c. You make an effort to floss a few times a week, but it’s not a priority.
d. You haven’t used floss in years.
Time to tally up your answers!
Mostly As: You have good intentions, but you might be thinking more about how your teeth look how healthy they are. Beware of overusing at-home teeth whitening and heavy, excessive brushing, both of which can wear down your enamel. Enamel is the tooth’s natural barrier of protection, and once that layer is gone, it’s gone forever. Consider professional teeth whitening if a white smile is important to you. Keep up the healthy habits like regular brushing and flossing, but remember to be gentle on your teeth and gums for a smile that’s both beautiful and healthy for years to come.
Mostly Bs: You deserve a gold star! You practice good oral hygiene for naturally healthy teeth. You routinely brush and floss, and your teeth and gums show the results of your good habits. Keep up the good work with regular dental cleanings, too.
Mostly Cs: You’re on your way to a healthier mouth, but it’s time to get more serious about your routine. With relaxed flossing and skipped brushing, you’re not as committed to good oral hygiene as you should be. Preventive dentistry is vital: It’s easier to prevent problems with your teeth and gums than reverse the damage, so remember to brush at least twice a day, floss daily, and schedule regular check-ups.
Mostly Ds: All signs point to trouble; you need to overhaul your dental routine to ensure your mouth is healthy. If you have a long history of poor oral hygiene, you may require restorative dental services, but all hope is not lost: Make brushing and flossing a part of your daily routine, and schedule a new patient visit to get on the right track.
ABOUT YOUR SHREWSBURY DENTISTS:
At Modern Dentistry, Todd A. Pizzi, DDS, and Luciana Messina, DDS, are dedicated to providing high-quality cosmetic, restorative, and preventive dentistry services to patients and families in Shrewsbury, Worcester, North and South Grafton, Westborough, Southborough, Northborough, Boylston, Hopkinton, Millbury, and all surrounding communities. To schedule your next appointment, contact our office by calling (508) 842-6356 today.