New Year’s Resolutions might be traditionally difficult to keep, but how about a series of easy steps to improve your dental health?
These are all easily achievable and will have a positive impact on your teeth, gums, oral hygiene and overall health. Although we’ve called them New Year’s resolutions, they apply to any time of year. Why not start them today?
To brush and floss regularly
Running late in the morning? That thorough brush becomes a quick 20 seconds. Tired after a long day at work? Flossing before getting to bed may be the last thing you think of.
Always brush and floss thoroughly, at least twice a day (once for flossing, preferably at night) because you can be certain that bacteria won’t take a day off.
The bacteria in your mouth reproduce every five hours, given there are 20 million typically in your mouth if you were to go a day without brushing this would have risen by 500% to 100 billion! Think of bacteria as an opportunist always looking for that opening to attack and wreak havoc on your oral health. Having a great oral care routine will ensure that your teeth stay protected from most onslaughts caused by general life.
To use the right tools
- Toothbrush – preferably an electric one with a pressure sensor (so you don’t brush too hard), a timer (so you brush for long enough), and an oscillating head (so that your clean is effective)
- Toothbrush heads – preferably soft bristles to void overbrushing and hurting your gums
- Interdental brushes – Yes, we recommend using BOTH floss and interdental brushes as floss is great for reaching between the teeth and gum line whereas interdental brushes will clean the sides between teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach
- Toothpaste – with fluoride (to protect your enamel) and containing 1,350-1,500ppm of it (the box or tube will give you this information)
To keep regular check-ups and hygiene appointments
However good your oral hygiene is at home, checkups and appointments with a professional dental hygienist are still essential.
Only through regular check-ups can you get a clear sense of the health of your teeth and gums and also hope to catch any problems promptly. Only seeing a dentist or hygienist when prompted by pain or concerns, and skipping on your regular appointments (the frequency of which are determined based on your personal oral health and lifestyle), could mean that the cause has progressed so far that further dentistry or more complicated treatment may be required to rectify it at this stage.
The mantra “prevention is better than cure” most definitely holds true here so stick to those check-ups!
To make reasonable changes to diet
Foods that contain sugars create an environment perfect for plaque bacteria, and that includes natural sugars. Acidic foods and drinks are problematic too, calling your morning orange juice into question.
Then there is your daily cup of coffee – the caffeine can slow your saliva production and dry out your mouth, leading to bad breath and leaving your teeth vulnerable to other attacks. Life would be pretty bland if we removed all problematic foods from our diet!
What we can do is employ a little moderation – limit the intake of acidic or sugary foods. With dentistry it’s not about how much of these culprits you consume but how often. The more often you have sugar (even a tiny bit), the more often your teeth are put under attack and the risk of damage to your enamel increased. Each acid attack lasts around 20 minutes so each time you have another sip of a sugary drink the damage begins all over again!
The impact of these foods and drinks can also be mitigated by drinking water afterwards or chewing sugar free gum to stimulate the mouth’s saliva production, which is the best natural defence against plaque build-up.
Clever food pairings also work, such as eating cheese with white wine – the alkali in the cheese works to neutralise the acid left by the wine.
To look after myself
Dental health does not occur in isolation to general health.
Poor overall health can make gum disease and other issues more likely, equally poor oral health can lead to all manner of problems, these potentially including diabetes, heart problems and more. Eating well, exercising and getting a good amount of rest might not seem to be linked to oral health and yet it all builds towards a healthy whole.
Keep it simple
Maintaining good oral health isn’t all that difficult, it just takes discipline (and around 21 days to form a habit, according to some articles). This is one New Year’s resolution that will only benefit you and your health, which, at the end of each year, will be the best gift you give yourself.
If you live or work in London, please consider coming to The Dental Surgery for a check-up. You can book an appointment online at your convenience.
Why consider The Dental Surgery for cosmetic dentistry?
We’ll let our patients speak for us there, our most recent feedback from a patient:
“I’ve been treated here for at least 15 years and wouldn’t go anywhere else. At previous dentists I seemed to need to have a lot of expensive work done but the focus here is definitely on prevention and minimal treatment. So much so that I haven’t had dental insurance for a long time. Trustworthy, professional and nice people!”
View more of our independent reviews on Google here.
Book online or call us on 020 3909 1690