Taking better care of your dental health can mean you spend less time in the chair and less money on treatment. And no matter how careful you are already, nearly everyone can improve their routine at least a little.
Make following these tips your New Year’s resolution and you might see a huge difference in your overall oral health, saving you both money and discomfort in the months to come.
1) Better Brushing
Brushing your teeth is more important than a quick habit you do first thing in the morning and last at night. Thorough brushing can greatly reduce the risks of cavities, decay, and gum disease. It also works wonders to freshen your breath and keep your teeth looking great.
To make sure you’re playing your best brushing game, replace your toothbrush every three to four months, and brush for a full two minutes every time.
2) Step Up Your Flossing
However, brushing alone won’t get rid of all the debris and bacteria lurking in hard-to-reach places. If you don’t already floss, try to start doing it after each time you brush. And if you don’t like the feeling of traditional dental floss, alternatives including dental tape are just as effective but feel gentler in your mouth.
3) Cut Back on Sugary Snacks and Drinks
Everyone knows that sugar is the main enemy of dental health, but the dangers don’t just come from candy bars. Sweet drinks are often even worse, as the acids they contain get to work on your dental enamel before the sugars can start doing their worst. And even healthy fruit is full of fructose, which from a dental point of view is nearly as bad.
Try to cut back on sweetness of any kind, such as by switching to sparkling water instead of soda, or healthy nuts instead of chocolate. And when you do eat something sweet, make sure to use mouthwash soon after to neutralize the sugar as quickly as possible,
4) Eat Healthier
Certain foods can actively boost your dental health rather than harming it. For example, the calcium in dairy products can help give you stronger teeth, while many kinds of fruit and vegetables contain the essential minerals and antioxidants needed to keep your gums healthy. However, always balance up the risks of sweet fruit against the nutritional benefits they provide.
5) Avoid Staining Foods
If you want to keep your teeth pearly white, pay attention to how often you consume staining agents such as coffee, red wine, or spicy food. Cutting back is one way of reducing their effects, but reaching for the antibacterial mouthwash soon after consuming them is usually just as effective.
6) Quit Smoking
The damage that smoking does to all-round health is well known. However, not everyone realizes just how bad smoking is for your oral health. As well as risking mouth and throat cancers, smoking also causes gum recession and gingivitis, which can eventually lead to tooth loss if they’re not stopped in their tracks.
7) Keep Regular Appointments
Lastly, make regular visits to your dentist a priority so that any problems are caught before too much harm is done. While your dental plan may only provide for two checkups a year, most dentists recommend a visit to the surgery at least every three months. To get the most benefit from your dental treatment, make sure to schedule regular hygienist appointments alongside your checkups, so that problems can be spotted early.
Upping your dental health game doesn’t need to take a lot of time or effort. Following these seven simple tips in the New Year could save you money on dental bills, reduce your time in the dentist’s chair, and give your overall well-being a boost.