People all over the globe have spent this week attempting to beat old habits, start new diets, and stick with resolutions. As a whole, we often choose a lofty dream for our New Year’s Resolution instead of manageable goals. Many focus on their health, on weight management, healthy eating, and being more active. It’s rare that you hear of a resolution to take care of your teeth.
Starting the New Year Off with a Smile
Your dentist wants your smile to last, to be natural, and to be brilliant. The best way to maintain oral health is to keep your natural teeth in your mouth as long as possible. This is why a dentist would rather drill and fill a cavity, perform root canals, and install bridges before extracting teeth. If you lose a tooth, the rest of the teeth shift. They wear differently, the jaw is affected, and mouth health is compromised. Save your teeth and save your smile by putting your dental care first this New Year.
Manageable Goals and Habits
Step 1. Schedule an exam with a dentist.
January is a great time to schedule teeth cleaning. Many dental clinics will have a wait for new patients, so if you call now, you can get on the schedule for an upcoming appointment.
Step 2. Buy a new toothbrush.
Find a toothbrush that you like, one that fits your hand well, that has a soft bristle, and a nice toothpaste to go with it.
Step 3. Brush daily.
If you currently brush your teeth once per day, increase it to twice per day. If you don’t brush at all, now is the time to start! For maximum tooth health, brush for 2 minutes, 2 times per day.
Step 4: Floss daily.
You don’t have to use the string floss (although you’ll probably get it from the dentist). In order to keep up with flossing, you may prefer flossers or interdental brushes. Both are easy to hold, easy to use, and clean in between your teeth.
The more you brush your teeth, the easier it will become to keep up with the habit throughout the New Year. Once you’ve brushed twice daily for several days, you won’t like dirty teeth! What better motivation? Because you’ll be more aware of how your teeth feel throughout the day, you may also drink less soft drinks or eat candies that will stick in between your teeth. That brings us to our final step.
Step 5: Drink more water, eat less garbage.
Water will promote the natural production of saliva, which is your mouth’s self-cleaning system all day long in between brushing. You can help out the process by drinking water throughout the day, and rinse your mouth out after eating something sugary, bready, or sticky.
Be sure to share your New Year’s resolution with your friends and your dentist.
For more information about tooth health, visit Mouth Healthy, or talk with a Legacy Hill Dentist today. Call 615-459-8050 today.
It’s difficult to stick to a routine when children are on break from school, when the family is traveling, and bedtimes fluctuate due to holiday festivities. The holidays bring with them busy days, hectic schedules, and house decorating, cleaning, and prepping. If you don’t have established routines before the holidays, you might find it difficult to maintain them during this crazy time of year. Now is the time to think about oral hygiene and healthy habits.
It is important that everyone in the family has good oral hygiene. It saves money in dental care and prevents a lifetime of oral woes. As you enter into the holiday season, keep the following tips in mind to keep your family mouth-healthy.
Everyone, young and old, should brush twice daily. Brushing after every meal can be difficult, but if the dentist recommends brushing after every meal, follow your dentist’s instructions. For regular brushing make sure you are using ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste and an appropriately sized soft-bristle brush. Teach children to brush properly starting at a young age.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends cleaning in between your teeth at least once daily. There are many methods of doing this now because there are many kinds of interdental cleaners on the market. Flossing moves plaque and food from between the teeth that might otherwise stay. In the wet, dark areas between the teeth, bacteria grow easily. Choose a method of flossing that you’re comfortable with, and start flossing today. It can prevent cavities between the teeth that affect two teeth instead of one! Flossing also adds to gum health.
There are two types of mouthwash—therapeutic and cosmetic. Therapeutic mouthwash kills bacteria, while cosmetic mouthwash improves bad breath temporarily. Utilizing therapeutic mouthwash can help prevent or control tooth decay, gum disease, and tartar. It also freshens breath and helps to heal mouth sores.
It’s important to offer your children water throughout the day, and to drink it yourself. Water is refreshing, keeps you hydrated, and helps to neutralize acid in your mouth. Drinking water instead of sweet drinks and sodas during the holidays can help prevent bad breath and plaque buildup.
Chewing gum that has earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance contributes to good oral health. The act of chewing increases saliva, which neutralizes acids in the mouth, which decreases plaque, thereby preventing cavities.
Avoiding too many sweets this holiday season will help prevent extra wear on your teeth. Sticky candies are especially bad for your teeth because the sugar is difficult to clean from the surfaces and in between the teeth. Sweet alcoholic beverages are also acidic and can be bad for your teeth in excess. The best way to maintain oral health is to stick to a balanced diet throughout the holiday season and year-round.
When it comes to your teeth, you don’t want to leave it up to chance. Winter is filled with candy, beginning with Halloween, then Christmas, and finally Valentine’s Day. You do not want to neglect your teeth during this time! On top of brushing, flossing, using mouthwash, and eating a balanced diet, you also need to schedule routine checkups. Legacy Hill Dentistry is everything you’re looking for in a family dentist, and we’re accepting new patients now. Call 615-459-8050 now to schedule your dental check-up.
In America there have been advances in dental medicine in recent years that allow people to keep their natural teeth longer. It’s a dentist’s goal to preserve the natural teeth as long as possible because it is healthier for the mouth and other teeth. Besides remembering regular dental visits, such as cleanings and oral exams, it’s important to keep up with dental care at home to hold onto your natural smile longer.
The American Dental Association recommends home dental care as a preventative measure. These simple steps can keep the mouth healthy and can prevent pain, trauma, and expensive repairs later.
You should brush your teeth twice daily with a fluoride tooth paste. Choose a soft bristle brush that has a shape complimentary to your mouth. This allows you to comfortably reach all the teeth, gums, and problem areas in your mouth. If you have trouble choosing between the various tooth brushes, consult with your dentist at your next visit. You should also replace your tooth brush every 3-4 months for the best care.
If you’re unable to brush twice for some reason, you should at least brush your teeth before bed each night. Also, if you make it a habit to drink sugary drinks, especially soda, you should frequently rinse your mouth with water.
Brushing cleans the surfaces of the teeth just fine, but no matter how small the bristles, it is impossible to brush in between the teeth, you should floss at least once daily. Flossing removes food and plaque from in between the teeth. Flossing is one of the most effective preventative measures you can take to maintain your oral health. Cavities, especially in children, form between the teeth merely because the plaque is not brushed away. There are several products on the market today that make flossing easier.
Eat a Healthy Diet
It’s important to brush and floss daily, but even these good habits cannot replace a healthy diet. Diets high in sugar and acid are hard on the teeth. This does not just mean white, granulated sugar. Most popular snack foods happen to be breads and starches. These types of foods leave behind debris that sticks in the teeth, and is essentially sugar. These sugars, especially stuck in between the teeth, raises acidity in the mouth, and begins to eat at the enamel, leading to cavities and eventually tooth decay.
Quit Using Tobacco
Caring for your teeth and gums is important at all ages. Excessive sugar is a concern for children, and tobacco is a main concern for adults. Products like cigarettes and smokeless tobacco damage teeth and gums in their own way. Tobacco stains the teeth and tongue, dulls taste and smell, slows healing after oral surgeries and procedures, leads to oral cancers and gum disease, and makes cosmetic dentistry more difficult to correct. The best prevention against all of these things is to quit today.
Quitting tobacco, eating healthily, brushing, flossing, and keeping up with regular dental appointments are half the battle with your oral health. Your dentist treats the problem, but doesn’t want a problem to exist! Most of your dental health is in your hands, every single day, in the choices you make.
When you do need to schedule your next dental appointment call Legacy Hill Dentistry at 615-459-8050 and let us talk to you about preventative care so that you can preserve or restore your natural smile.
When you visit us at Legacy Hill Dentistry, we will ask you about your flossing habits to see how often you do this important dental habit. If you do not make a practice of flossing everyday, you are not alone. While most of our patients do brush their teeth at least once daily, we have heard many patients admit that they do not floss each day. A lot of people do not floss regularly because they do not understand exactly how important this dental habit is. We would like to tell you about the importance of flossing by sharing with you some information from How Stuff Works
PROTECT YOUR GUMS
If you do not want to end up with periodontitis, the most severe phase of gum disease, you should floss daily. Flossing plays its biggest role in removing pieces of food from the places where your gums meet your teeth. When food is stuck in these areas, it turns into tartar, which is a thick deposit that can only be removed by our staff with a dental scraper. Tartar can build up and cause the first stage of gum disease, gingivitis. If your gums look red and swollen, you may have gingivitis, which can cause plaque and bacteria to spread deep below your gum line to cause more damage. You may even lose teeth!
PREVENT OTHER DISEASES
When you have gum disease, you are at greater risk for other diseases. In 2003, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began promoting oral health as a step to address diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory illnesses. As heart disease is the leading cause of death in this country and as more than 25 million people have diabetes, the importance of flossing can have even greater meaning. The few minutes you spend flossing every day is a huge step towards preventing diseases and keeping your entire body healthy.
PREVENT TARTAR BUILDUP
As mentioned earlier, you can only have tartar removed by dental professionals using a special tool. When you floss each day, you are removing plaque when it is in its soft state before it turns into tartar. Plaque will not harden into tartar until it is undisturbed for a period of time, so flossing daily can stop tartar from ever building up in the first place. Combining flossing with regular brushing is the best way to fight tartar buildup. Keep tartar buildup from causing severe gum disease by flossing at least once a day.
If you have more questions about flossing, contact us
at Legacy Hill Dentistry. We can tell you more about its importance as well as teach you the best way to floss correctly. Not only does your oral health depend on this daily task, but your overall health benefits as well.
At Legacy Hill Dentistry, we take pride in promoting good oral health habits to our patients. We are often asked by our patients what they can do at home to improve the health of their teeth and gums, and one of the most important practices for a healthy mouth is daily flossing. We know that flossing can be an easily forgotten task, but the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends flossing at least once every day to achieve optimal oral health. Getting into this daily habit will help to remove plaque from between your teeth in areas that your toothbrush cannot reach. Daily flossing prevents both cavities and gum disease. We would like to tell you a bit more about this essential oral health habit.
When is the best time to floss my teeth?
According to the ADA, the most important thing about flossing is actually doing it every day. It does not matter if you floss before or after brushing. Pick a time of the day when you have a few extra minutes to devote to flossing your teeth. If you are too tired at the end of the day, you may want to choose to floss in the morning or after lunch. Finding the most convenient time of day to floss is crucial to develop this daily habit.
I do not like to floss my teeth because it hurts. What am I doing wrong?
If you are not in the habit of flossing once a day, it is completely normal to experience a bit of discomfort when you floss your teeth. However, this pain should go away after your first week of consistent daily brushing and flossing. If you still find flossing to be painful after that first week, contact Legacy Hill Dentistry to talk to our staff.
I am unsure if I am flossing correctly. Do you have any tips on how to properly floss my teeth?
To start the process of flossing, tear off about a foot and a half (18″) of floss to wrap around one of your middle fingers. Wrap the remaining floss around the middle finger of the opposite hand. Hold the floss between your thumbs and forefingers, and guide the floss between your teeth gently in a rubbing movement. When the floss gets to your gum line, you can curve it against the tooth to gently slide the floss in between the gum and the tooth. While holding the floss against the tooth, rub each side of the tooth and move the floss away from the gum in an up and down manner. Repeat this process for each tooth.
Is there an alternative to this flossing method?
For people who have difficulties with flossing, Legacy Hill Dentistry recommends using a pre-threaded flosser. Our staff can show you how to use this interdental tool properly to avoid hurting your gums. You may also want to try a different type of floss. Dental floss is available in waxed, unwaxed, thick, or comfort. You may have to experiment to discover which type works the best for you.
Have more questions about flossing? Contact Legacy Hill Dentistry to find out more about this essential oral health habit.