Oral health is important, and with a new year almost here, you should consider making some of your resolutions related to improving dental health. Because your teeth need daily care, it’s easy to let your routine get a little lax sometimes. A healthy smile not only looks great but having clean and strong teeth and a pain-free mouth will make you feel great, too.
Floss daily. Flossing is an important part of tooth and gum care that is frequently forgotten or downright ignored. Flossing is a habit like any other – once you get used to doing it daily, it will be a breeze. It’s important to floss to remove debris caught in the teeth and gums, and floss gently glides over the surface of teeth to remove plaque that brushing can’t reach and mouthwash can’t penetrate. Plaque left in the mouth will lead to cavities over time.
Don’t skip night brushing. If you’ve had a long day and you just want to hit the hay, you might skip your nightly dental duties. While this may be okay to do once and awhile, it’s best to not make a habit of it. Brushing at night helps remove food remnants and sugar that have become stuck to teeth throughout the day. If you sleep with a partner and with your mouth open, they’ll appreciate not having to smell your unbrushed mouth all night long.
Make regular dental appointments. Brushing and flossing can only go so far. Plaque and tartar build up over time, especially if you don’t floss regularly. A dental check-up will provide a thorough teeth cleaning, and the dentist can perform any necessary procedures like filling cavities. They’ll also check for signs of more serious conditions like gingivitis or oral cancer. Make a special appointment if you’re experiencing pain, and if you need to visit an emergency dentist the office in your area might have special hours.
Seek help for teeth grinding. It can be difficult to tell if you grind your teeth when you’re asleep, especially if you sleep alone. Teeth grinding can cause serious problems like wearing down or breaking teeth, and gum recession. Ways to tell if you grind is a sore mouth or gums in the morning and feeling overly tired.
Deal with snoring and sleep apnea. The same goes for chronic snorers. Snoring can be relatively harmless if it occurs once and awhile – like after consuming alcohol. But frequent snoring could indicate another health problem is present, like sleep apnea where breathing actually stops and starts again. It’s necessary to see a doctor and find solutions that can range from breathing strips, to mouth guards, to a CPAP machine.
Stop smoking. Smoking has many negative effects on physical and dental health. In addition to increasing your risk of lung disease and cancer, smoking causes stained teeth, bad breath, and gum disease.
Cut out sugary drinks. Drinking soda, fruit juice, and other sugary drinks is a major cause of plaque build-up, tartar, and cavities. This is because of the constant sugar bath that is washing over your pearly whites. Switch to water and other sugar-free choices.
Appreciate your mouth. We take parts of our bodies that we use every day for granted. Take some time to think about what you’d do without your teeth, tongue, or gums! Appreciate all the things your mouth does for you and this will help encourage you to take better care of it.