This is the perfect time of year to adopt resolutions for establishing healthy oral habits. The benefits of setting goals can be rewarding and motivating. Just make sure to establish resolutions that are attainable step by step. Resolutions are often related to improvements in our health, diet and actions that will produce positive changes in our lives. As you make your own resolutions, don’t forget to take better care of your oral health in 2020.
Some foods and drinks can harm your teeth, while other options will rebuild minerals in the teeth. Your teeth are made up of hard-packed minerals such as calcium and phosphate. When you consume dairy products (which are full of these products), minerals are added to your teeth, making them stronger. When you choose sugary foods and acidic options (sodas, citrus fruits/drinks, sparkling water), your teeth lose minerals. This can lead to decay.
When you eat, sugars in your foods and drinks will also mix with mouth bacteria to create a sticky, acidic substance called plaque. That plaque will rest on your teeth, breaking up minerals until the teeth decay and die in certain areas. To avoid this, follow dental health tips such as:
Did you know that there actually are differences to oral health care products? Some are good, others are mediocre and some you just shouldn’t buy. For example, many dollar store brands of oral care products have been found to be defective or even unhealthy for your teeth. This is because standards for what can be sold to the public are different from country to country.
You only want to buy dental health products that have the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance on it. This means the products have been tested and reviewed for actual tooth decay and gum disease prevention. It’s a safe product if it has the seal printed on the label somewhere. Ask us about the products we know, trust, and recommend to our patients to have good dental health!
Do you brush your teeth every day? Studies show that people don’t brush their teeth enough. Only 3 in 10 millennials brush every day, and some go 2-3 days between brushing the teeth. This type of figure spans across all ages, which is why tooth decay is the most “prevalent, chronic disease,” according to the National Institutes of Health.
The best way to prevent oral health care diseases is to brush and floss your teeth. The ADA recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day for 2 minutes at a time. Brush after every meal to remove plaque your mouth creates from eating. Use ADA-approved toothpaste with fluoride and brush all tooth surfaces in all directions, including circular motions. Don’t forget to brush your tongue as well, as this is an area where most mouth bacteria loves to reside.
If you brush your teeth daily, that’s great. Just don’t forget to floss! If you do, you skip 40% of your tooth surfaces that can end up decaying. In fact, you can brush your teeth, but if you don’t floss, you can still get a ton of cavities. Use 18-inches of new floss after brushing, and wind it between your middle and index fingers. Floss up into the gum line between each tooth, making sure you gently scrape the teeth as you go to remove stuck-on plaque. Floss gently so you don’t cut your gums. Brushing and flossing your teeth properly will significantly improve your dental health in 2020, if this is one of your goals.
Do you visit your dentist regularly? Past studies show that only about 65% of people are visiting their dentist once a year. This is not enough to prevent oral health diseases! It’s not even meeting the ADA’s recommendation to visit your dentist at least twice a year, which would be every 6 months. Patients that have dental health issues may need to be visiting the dentist every 3-4 months.
If you fear the dentist, don’t fret. Biannual checkups are simply for checking the teeth for cavities, gum issues, and dental health diseases. A comprehensive exam won’t include anything invasive. Dental x-rays and other imaging options can take pictures of your teeth to find subsurface cavities that exist. Your dentist will also do an oral cancer screening to detect sores and lumps of cancer that can be deadly. This will involve simply checking the neck, cheeks and outside of the face for abnormal lumps. We will also view inside the mouth for color changes to the gums, sores, white spots and more.
Dental exams generally will go hand-in-hand with dental cleanings. This is a thorough brushing and flossing with high-quality dental tools that get you a sparkling clean. Our products and tools get rid of tartar, stains, and other types of debris that you can’t get off at home.
Visits like dental exams and cleanings, paired with proper brushing, flossing and diet can help you have the best dental health in 2020. To schedule your appointment, or to learn more dental health tips, call Premier Dentistry of Eagle at (208) 546-0065!