We all start the New Year with resolutions. Dieting and exercising are great resolutions for a healthy lifestyle; however most of us still neglect the health of our mouth. By resolving to focus on proper oral hygiene and getting dental problems fixed, you will help lower your risk of developing gum disease, maintain your oral health, and keep you smiling through 2018.
Increase the Effectiveness of Your Oral Health Routine
The first step to achieving a healthy mouth in the New Year involves improving your oral dental health routine. At a minimum, everyone should brush twice a day for three minutes in the morning and before bed and floss once a day. To clean your gum line, you will need to angle the brush about 45 degrees toward your gums. When you brush your teeth, make sure to rub the bristles along every surface of your teeth to remove any food particles and plaque. If you have trouble both moving and angling your manual toothbrush, you may want to consider purchasing an electric toothbrush.
To remove food particles and plaque between the teeth, you will need to floss once a day. If you are having trouble getting traditional floss between your teeth, you should try dental tape, which is wider and narrower than conventional dental floss. If you have trouble reaching between all of your teeth, especially the back teeth, consider using dental flossing picks or brushes.
Eat for Your Oral Health
Adding raw, crunchy fruits and vegetables can help clean your teeth and increase your production of saliva, which helps bathe and protect your teeth. Food like yogurt, milk, cheese, almonds and leafy greens are high in calcium, which can help you maintain the strength of your teeth and reduce your risk of developing cavities and tooth decay.
Stop Smoking to Improve Your Oral Health
Smoking harms every part of your body, including your mouth. In addition to causing the teeth to turn yellow and stain, smoking dries out your mouth and reduces the blood flow to your gums. Over time, smoking can lead to gum recession, gingivitis and periodontal disease, which can result in tooth loss and further oral health problems. By quitting smoking, you are helping to promote gum health, stop the progression of gum disease and keep your teeth.
Straighten Your Smile
If you have crooked, gapped, crowded or twisted teeth, now is the time to find a teeth straightening process that works for you. When you have crowded, twisted or crooked teeth, it can be extremely tough to clean your teeth by brushing, flossing and rinsing. This results in food particles remaining stuck or wedged in the crevices and tight spaces. Bacteria then feed off the particles on your teeth, creating plaque.
When you fail to remove all the plaque from your teeth, it hardens into tartar, usually within 24 to 48 hours. The tartar then builds-up along your gum line, leading to inflammation and redness, which are the beginning signs of gingivitis. If the gingivitis isn’t treated, it can worsen, and turn into periodontal disease. By straightening your teeth, you will be better able to reach every tooth surface and clean along your gum line, which will reduce your risk of developing gum disease in the future.
It’s also a good time to get any missing or broken teeth addressed before they begin to impact the rest of teeth. Dental implants will not only improve your smile, but also add to your overall oral health.
Brighten Your Smile
If your teeth are stained from drinking lots of coffee, tea or other darkly colored drinks, eating berries or from a former smoking habit, consider brightening your smile. There are numerous in-office and at-home teeth whitening options that can help you improve the brightness of your teeth. If your teeth are only lightly stained or slightly yellow, an at-home teeth whitening kit may help you achieve the degree of whiteness you desire. If you wish to brighten your teeth by several shades, in-office treatments will work best to help you achieve the smile you desire.
Schedule Your Teeth Cleanings
As you rededicate yourself to improving your oral health, straightening your teeth with either braces or clear aligners and whitening your smile, don’t forget to schedule your teeth cleaning appointments twice a year. A dental examination and professional cleaning helps remove plaque and tartar and decreases your risk of developing gum disease that can lead to bone and tooth loss. If you do have gum disease or cavities, regularly visiting your dentist can catch these problems before they result in the need for root canals, tooth extraction, and tooth replacement procedures.
Following through with these six simple dental resolutions with the guidance of your dentist will assure that you’ll smile confidently through 2018 and beyond.
Williams & Daily Dental, is a family and cosmetic dentist located in North Raleigh, NC with a team of dedicated dentists enthusiastic in their commitment to their patients. We offer dental implants, Invisalign teeth straightening, in-office and home teeth whitening options, and Oral-B electric toothbrushes. Contact Williams & Daily at (919) 846-9070 for more information and to schedule an appointment today.