As the new year gets underway, it’s time to start making those new year’s resolutions for 2016! While following through may not always be as easy as coming up with them, there are some that tend to be considerably more doable than others. So in order to give you some ideas for some simple changes that will make a big difference in your smile, here are six helpful dental tips that you and your family can employ in the upcoming year:
- Nothing can replace flossing
In reality brushing only eliminates of about half of the plaque and bacteria build up on your teeth. Even if you brush three times a day and use toothpicks after every meal, the only thing that can really get rid of the other half is good old fashion flossing. The reason for this is that floss is really the only thing that can get between the teeth to those hard to reach crevices where some of the worst bacteria likes to hide. Flossing will also help keep your gums healthy, and in the end, help give you that bright white smile you’ve been looking for.
- The right diet can make all the difference
As with most health related issues, eating right is essential to maintaining your dental well-being. Every dentist since you were five has probably told you to avoid sweets, but this advice is only part of building a healthy oral diet. Cutting back on sugar goes hand in hand with eating plenty of foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals,which will also help prevent gum disease. So be sure to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables to keep those gums nice and pretty pink!
- Wait at least an hour after eating before brushing your teeth
At first this sounds like the familiar words of warning that your mother would insist upon come lunchtime at the local pool, but unlike that old wives’ tale, there is actually some merit to this suggestion. Eating and drinking break down the protective enamel on your teeth. Brushing immediately afterwards can cause tiny particles of enamel to be brushed away, and because of this, it is wise to wait at least an hour after eating to brush your teeth. If you are the type of person who brushes three times a day, or who tends to have snacks right before bed, you might want to keep this one in mind.
- Don’t forget to brush your tongue or use a tongue scraper
An often overlooked aspect of dental hygiene is the tongue. It is crucial to employ the use of a tongue scrapper, or at the least brush your tongue whenever brushing to prevent the build up of excess bacteria and plaque. This is another good habit to get into that will also help prevent gum disease. Plus it will help keep your breath smelling fresh, which will in turn give your smile even more confidence!
- Invest in an electric toothbrush
While they can be quite expensive upfront, electric toothbrushes are more effective at removing plaque. Those that pulsate and have oscillating heads that rotate in both directions are the most effective. These brushes are able to not only reach deep into the spaces between teeth where traditional ones can’t, but they also are able to make more than twice the amount of brush strokes in the same amount of time due to the pulsations and oscillation. They can also be a great aid for people with limited mobility, such as disabled or elderly people, who may not be able to clean thoroughly using a manual toothbrush. Here at Benchmark Dental we carry the best electronic brushes available, and at a price that is lower than you’ll find at retail stores!
- Go see your dentist more often!
It may sound like a lot, but the reality is that the standard twice a year visit to the dentist isn’t really enough for many adults. You should see the dentist for a cleaning at least every 90 days. While this can may seem rather expensive, especially if you have to pay out of pocket, it is well worth it from a health perspective. The reason for this is that all of the bacteria that is cleaned out of your mouth during a visit are able to completely recolonize in just three months! This is especially key for anyone who has had periodontal treatment or “Deep Cleanings” in the past. Keeping your mouth free of these harmful bacteria for as long and often as possible will be crucial for ensuring your healthy smile for 2016, and all the years to come. So from everyone here at Benchmark Dental, have a happy new year!