Happy New Year! Have you ever found that you have made a New Year’s Resolution just to forget about it a couple of weeks later? Our team at Potomac Dental Centre is here to help you follow through on your healthy smile resolutions this year! The beginning of a new year is an excellent opportunity to start over. Many people will make New Year’s plans to improve their health through exercise and/or diet, so why not enhance your oral health as well?
Here are 6 Resolutions to Improving Your Oral Health:
#1 Floss Your Teeth Daily
Flossing at least once a day is critical to your oral health. A toothbrush can only reach 60% of your teeth’s surface, thus flossing is the only way to get rid of plaque and debris from the other 40%. Flossing, on the other hand, is only beneficial to your oral health when done correctly. Flossing won’t remove plaque buried between your teeth and deep beneath the gum line if you don’t use a C-shape and don’t reach far enough under the gumline. Those who floss too forcefully, on the other hand, risk injuring their gums, which can lead to further dental health problems down the line. At your next appointment, ask your hygienist for advice and take the time to master the appropriate flossing technique.
#2 Cut Back on Sugars
Tooth decay is linked to sugar consumption. You can reduce your chances of getting cavities by limiting your sugar intake. Limiting those delectable sweets might be difficult, so I recommend trying sugar-free seltzer water instead of soda or chewing sugar-free gum when you have a need. After a meal, chewing sugar-free gum is actually beneficial! Until you’re able to brush your teeth, it can help wash away food particles and harmful bacteria.
Avoid hard candy or sticky gummies for those special times when you crave a sweet treat, as they stick to your teeth for longer and combine with plaque on your teeth to form toxic acid that erodes enamel. Chocolates are an alternative because they melt rapidly and do not stay in the mouth for as long.
#3 Switch to an Electric Toothbrush
When used appropriately, an electric toothbrush is typically thought to be more effective than a regular toothbrush. Users of an electric toothbrush do not need to brush their teeth back and forth; instead, they merely guide the brush through the quadrants of their mouth, and the tiny vibrations clean the teeth. An electric toothbrush, especially if you have a lot of plaque and calcium buildup in your mouth, can be more successful in removing these particles on a daily basis. Many electric toothbrushes also include a 2-minute timer to help you stay on track!
Brushing your teeth too forcefully, whether with an electric or traditional toothbrush, might harm your gums. Brush gently and at a 45-degree angle towards the gum line to avoid hurting your gums and wearing away the enamel.
#4 Quit Tobacco Products
Tobacco use can cause a variety of problems in your mouth, including tooth discoloration, cavities, gum recession, gum disease, and throat, lung, and oral cancer. Smokers are nearly twice as likely as nonsmokers to lose their teeth. Smoking tobacco has detrimental impacts on your dental health, but smokeless tobacco can be just as hazardous. The good news is that quitting smoking or using smokeless tobacco lowers your risk of tooth loss.
#5 Limit Alcohol Consumption
You may be aware that excessive alcohol use can harm your general health, but did you realize it can also harm your oral health? According to the Academy of General Dentistry, smokers, those who eat badly, and those who drink excessively have more gum recession (periodontal pocketing). Their research shows that smokers who consume alcohol on a daily basis are less likely to wash their teeth and are less worried about their basic health than nonsmokers.
#6 Follow Through on Your Regular Dental Cleanings
You can help prevent dental health problems by visiting your dentist at least twice a year before they create discomfort or necessitate more extensive or expensive treatment. Your dentist can monitor your oral health and propose a dental health plan to address any areas of concern with regular visits.
Professional dental cleanings can have a big impact on your overall health in addition to keeping your smile dazzling. Oral hygiene issues have been connected to a number of serious ailments. Bone loss, cardiovascular disease, strokes, malignancies, and a variety of other medical and dental disorders are all linked to this condition. Brushing and flossing at home are important, but to keep your teeth healthy and clean, you should see your dentist on a regular basis and have annual dental cleanings with your dental hygienist.
Let’s dedicate 2022 to bettering ourselves and our smiles!