Your oral health is connected to your overall well-being. That’s why taking control of your dental hygiene is a great goal to have as we move into the new year. It’s never too late to see one of our dentists in Holland, MI, and start restoring your smile.
Here are seven New Year’s resolutions to help you get started.
1. Don’t Skip Teeth Cleanings
Your dentist is your partner in helping you maintain a healthy smile for life. But first, you need to schedule a teeth cleaning appointment with our dental office.
During your appointment, we’ll examine the inside of your mouth and possibly take X-rays. This will give us a full picture of your oral health.
We’ll also remove plaque and tartar so you can avoid cavities and other oral health problems.
In general, we recommend that our patients see us every six months. That way, we’re able to catch any issues before they have a chance to worsen.
Not only will this help you avoid future dental pain, but it’ll also help you save money in the long run. Preventive dental care is much less expensive than what it would cost to restore a badly decayed or damaged tooth.
That’s why your oral hygiene is so important!
2. Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day
Brushing your teeth may seem like a simple task. But it’s for that exact reason why people often skip it when they’re rushing to get out the door or put the kids to bed.
Dedicate two minutes in the morning and two minutes in the evening for brushing your teeth. That’s four minutes total.
Brushing your teeth twice a day will help you remove plaque from the surface of your teeth and gums.
Take a moment to run your tongue over your teeth. Do your teeth feel smooth or rough? If your teeth feel rough or “fuzzy,” that’s a sign that you have dental plaque buildup.
The good news is that you canby brushing twice a day. Once plaque hardens into tartar though, it can only be removed by a dental professional.
3. Floss Once a Day
once a day to remove any plaque hiding between teeth. To do this, wrap about 18” of floss around your middle fingers and pinch the floss between your thumbs and forefingers.
Next, gently insert the floss between two teeth. Pull the floss against the side of your tooth until it makes a “C” shape. Then, move the floss up and down against the side of the tooth.
When you move onto the next tooth, reposition the floss between your fingers so you’re starting with a fresh section.
4. Use a Fluoride Mouth Rinse
Fluoride helps to remineralize the enamel. This is important because once you lose enamel, it’s gone for good.
Patients who have lost enamel are more likely to have sensitive teeth. If you feel a twinge of pain or sensitivity when you drink a hot cup of coffee or indulge in ice cream, you may have already lost some tooth enamel.
The good news is that you can prevent further enamel loss by brushing, flossing, and using a fluoride mouth rinse.
5. Eat Healthier Foods
It’s impossible to change your entire diet overnight. But you can start with small steps, like substituting pop for water. Little by little you can start changing your diet in the direction you want it to go.
By reducing your sugar intake, you’ll be able to keep down plaque buildup inside your mouth. This will also make your next teeth cleaning and exam a breeze!
6. Consider Dental Sealants
Who said dental sealants are only for kids? The truth is that you can ask for dental sealants at any age. The only caveat is that we recommend checking your dental insurance coverage so you’re not surprised by any out-of-pocket costs.
As the name suggests, the dental sealant procedure works by sealing the chewing surfaces of molars. This helps prevent food particles and bacteria from hiding where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. The result is a healthier smile and an overall lower risk of cavities.
7. Ask About Gum Disease Treatment
Do you have advanced gum disease? If so, it’s worth asking our dentists if you’re a candidate for scaling and root planing. This type of treatment helps to remove bacteria above and below the gum line.
During the procedure, one of our dentists will also smooth out the tooth roots to help encourage gums to reattach. You may especially be a candidate for scaling and root planing if you have receding gums.
Schedule Your Next Dental Appointment
This blog post has been updated.