It’s official. The new year has begun. As has your commitment to your new year’s resolutions. You may have resolved to vow off fast food, go to the gym every morning, or learn a new language. But some resolutions can be more realistic and easier to commit to every day for that feeling of achievement come December 31. Yes, we’re talking about commitments to your dental health. And some are easier than you think. Read on to find out how to improve your dental health in 2021.
Be mindful of snacking
If you’re a regular snacker – regardless of the snack’s sugar content – it’s important to brush immediately after consumption. And it’s important to note that sugar isn’t only found in junk food. Honey, syrups, fruit juice, dairy, and even some high sugar fruits can be a danger to your teeth if consumed and not followed by a quick brush with toothpaste. Why? The bacteria in your mouth thrive on sugar and release acid as a waste product, which dissolves your tooth enamel over time. If this process happens regularly without intervention it can cause a buildup of plaque, eventually resulting in the formation of tooth decay.
Most people know that smoking can cause cancer, but did you know it can also wreak havoc on your dental health? Not only is smoking associated with tooth staining and bad breath but the habit can increase your risk of gum disease and oral cancer. The nicotine in tobacco smoke is known to limit the blood flow to your gums which can disguise any consequences linked to these serious health conditions which can go unnoticed for years. If you’re a smoker, regular checkups enable early detection and your dentist can suggest suitable treatments alongside breaking your smoking habit.
Quitting may be difficult, but you’re guaranteed to feel the benefits straight away. And you’ll also reduce the risk of losing teeth or developing a serious condition over time. If you need support, the Australian Government Department of Health offers information and helpful resources to make a start.
Have a health condition? Pay attention to your teeth
You may not think pre-existing medical conditions play a part in the health of your teeth but the opposite is said to be true for both diabetes and heart disease. In fact, the factors in your blood that signal cells and regulate your body’s inflammatory response are compromised by diabetes and heart disease. So if you suffer from diabetes or an existing heart condition and you start showing signs of gum disease, your body reacts by releasing more of these factors into your bloodstream which may aggravate inflammatory responses in other organs of your body. In addition, these same factors make it more favourable for the creation of plaques in the arteries leading to heart disease.
Change your dental health habits
Do you practice behaviours that harm your teeth? Habits may be hard to break but they’re worth paying attention to for the sake of your dental health.
Brush twice a day and don’t forget to floss
If you’re like most Australians, you probably don’t put much thought into how you brush your teeth. It’s easy to squirt toothpaste on your brush and brush back and forth, but there’s more you can do to get the most out of your routine. According to the Australian Dental Association, it’s important to be mindful of your technique by brushing systematically. Start by brushing your teeth at the back of one side of your mouth moving to the front, using circular motions, and repeating on the opposite side. Continue this technique for at least two minutes each time you brush, both morning and night.
Don’t forget to floss! When done properly, flossing helps remove food and bacteria stuck in between your teeth where your brush can’t access. The word brush may come before floss in the dictionary but it’s important to form the habit of floss first, then brush. Together, a daily floss and brush routine can form the foundation for healthy teeth.
Be aware of how you use and treat your teeth
If you play a contact sport, and a lot of Aussies do, don’t risk injuring your teeth by neglecting to wear a sports mouthguard. It absorbs the impact of contact to the face during play. And when worn correctly, protects every tooth evenly and still allows you to speak and breathe normally when wearing it.
Do you gnaw on things you can’t easily open with your hands? Perhaps the lid on a fresh jar of jam or a pistachio you just can’t crack? Using your teeth as tools can cause them to crack or chip and create opportunities for tooth decay to take hold. In serious cases, if you break a tooth, you may have to have it permanently removed and replaced with a dental implant.
Book regular visits to your dentist
If visiting a dentist isn’t part of your dental health routine, it’s never too late to start forming the habit. Regular checkups are not only important for the health of your teeth but also for your gums and mouth as a whole. A visit is recommended every 6 to 12 months, but your dentist will suggest the right frequency for you depending on your oral health. During your checkup, your dentist will check:
- Your oral hygiene routine and ask questions about your diet.
- The health of teeth, lips, cheeks, and gums and any signs of tooth decay or gum disease.
- The alignment of your teeth and jaws and look for any problems with your bite.
Visit Whites Dental Care for regular checkups
If you’re committed to better oral hygiene or want some advice on how to improve your dental health, contact our friendly team at Whites Dental Care today or book your appointment online. .