New years and health resolutions often go hand in hand. But why restrict most of the good practices to improving physical fitness only? Show some love to your dental health too. After all, it affects your overall well-being and quality of life. Thinking it is too late to begin now? Nah! Better a bit late than never. The time is always right for good habits. Here are a few simple tips to get started for a healthy sparkling smile.
Brush, floss, repeat!
Heard this often? Yes! From elders to dentists, everyone advises to brush and floss teeth daily. But many people often forget or lazily skip to brush and floss twice a day. These steps are essential to remove microbes that damage your teeth. Brushing your teeth for two minutes only in the morning lets the food particles remain in your mouth for the next 24 hours. It results in a bacterial attack, plaque build-up, enamel damage, and bad breath. Also, brushing alone does not clean your teeth thoroughly. You have to floss to remove all the gunk between your teeth.
Use a fluoridated toothpaste
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that prevents demineralization of teeth—acid damage to teeth when bacteria combine with sugars and erode the mineral content of your teeth. Fluoride slows the production of acid caused by bacterial plaque, protects teeth against decay, and strengthens the teeth enamel. Using fluoride toothpaste is beneficial for your teeth as its absorption into enamel replenishes calcium and phosphorus and strengthens teeth. There are ongoing debates on the effects of fluoride on health. However, there is hardly any evidence on the recommended amount of fluoride for dental care causing health issues. Do not swallow toothpaste while brushing, and do not use fluoride toothpaste for children below two years are the only two precautions you need to heed.
Start using mouthwash
Let us tell you a mouthwash has more uses than as a breath freshener to make you kiss-ready. Brushing removes bacteria and plaque, flossing packs a punch, and mouthwash is the last mighty blow on teeth-ravaging microbes. Fresh breath is an added benefit. Rinsing your mouth with a mouthwash cleans every nook and corner in your mouth. Buy mouthwashes with the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. Only the products that provide the claimed dental health benefit get this seal. Read the label while buying a mouthwash and look for anti-bacterial and enamel-protecting mouthwashes for best results.
Replace your toothbrush
Do not use a toothbrush for more than three months.
If it gets matted or frayed before this period, do not hesitate to change it earlier. Whether manual or electric, worn-down toothbrushes do not clean your teeth effectively. After brushing, rinse your toothbrush thoroughly to wash saliva and foam off it. Use a toothbrush cover for better hygiene.
Drink more water
Water is one of nature’s precious gifts. Use it to your benefit more often. In the context of dental health, it stimulates saliva production and washes away tooth-decaying bacteria accumulated from drinking sugary drinks and after meals. Avoid acidic beverages such as colas, coffee, tea, alcohol, and soda. If not, then rinse your mouth thoroughly after every meal and drink. If you like taking lemon water or apple cider vinegar for health-related reasons, drink it through a straw to minimize acid coming in contact with your teeth.
Go slow on sugary drinks and foods
Sugar, especially its refined variant, is unhealthy. Do yourself a favor and avoid drinks and foods with sugars as much as possible. It is not only beneficial for your oral health but overall health too. (Didn’t we tell you oral health is the first step to holistic health?) Sugary foods such as chocolates, candies, cookies, ice-creams, and drinks like soft drinks, sports drinks, fruit juices are highly acidic. They disturb the pH balance of your mouth and wear your teeth away, which causes tooth sensitivity and decay sooner or later. If you have a sweet tooth, have fruits, dark chocolate, oatcakes with jaggery powder, among other options. However, the ground rule remains the same. Rinse your mouth after every drink and meal.
Ditch smoking and tobacco
Let 2022 be the year when you will finally quit smoking and chewing tobacco. Both harm your oral and general health, sometimes irreversibly. Extensive staining, bad breath, tooth decay, and gum diseases are a few mild to moderate effects of smoking and tobacco consumption. The worst include increased loss of jaw bone, white patches in the mouth, throat cancer, oral cancer, and death. If you think you are not a mortal, let money motivate you. Think of all the money you will save by not smoking and consuming tobacco. In addition, no need for expensive dental surgeries later. C’mon! Start taking steps now.
Eat healthy foods
Healthy foods and drinks not only improve your physical but oral health too. Follow these three tips for better oral health.
· Reduce your sugar intake to prevent tooth decay
· Eat or drink more dairy products for stronger teeth
· Eat more fiber to remove plaque while chewing the greens and other fibrous foods. It also normalizes bowel movement and cleanses your gut. Remember that oral and gut health affect each other. Take good care of both.
Visit your dentist often
January is the perfect time to start anew; so is February, March, April, and the rest of the year when it comes to regular dental check-ups. Get your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year at least. If you need dental work for a better smile, stop procrastinating and act. The latest advances in dentistry ensure quicker, less invasive, and minimally painful procedures that give promising results. So, book an appointment and complete the recommended dental work you’ve been putting off for months. Delays may worsen the issue and make it harder to preserve your tooth structure and allow proper tooth alignment. For the sake of your smile, hurry up and find a dentist in La Jolla now.
Are you all set to be a dental health champion?