Written by: Mitra Bolouri, DDS (Dallas County Dental Society member)
If you’re still thinking of a New Year’s Resolution to make (or perhaps you’d like to add one more to your list), think about making a goal in 2018 to have a healthier mouth. There are a few easy things you can do to keep your teeth and gums in tip top shape this year.
1. Make sure you’re brushing at least two times a day, for at least two minutes each time. You should be brushing with a soft-bristled brush in order to prevent damage to your gums. A toothpaste with fluoride will help protect your teeth from cavities.
2. Floss at least once a day. Flossing helps remove plaque from between your teeth, where your toothbrush can’t reach. If you have braces or bridges, a water flosser may be a better option for you. Also, if you have young children, remember to help them floss until they have the manual dexterity to do it themselves.
3. Chew sugar-free gum for twenty minutes to help prevent cavities. This, of course, should not replace brushing, but may be a good idea if you’re at work or running errands and don’t have the opportunity to brush after lunch. Chewing will help stimulate salivary flow which will help clear food debris off of your teeth.
4. Visit your dentist at least twice a year for regular check-ups and cleanings. A dentist will be able to catch problem areas before they start to bother you, potentially reducing the cost of treatment. If you wait until your tooth is bothering you before you make an appointment, you may end up needing a root canal and a crown instead of a simple filling. Besides checking your teeth, your dentist will also check the health of your gums and other soft tissues, including screening for oral cancer, as well as checking the bone around your teeth for possible issues.
Whether you’re already following most of these guidelines or you may be skipping a few, make it a goal in 2018 to have a healthy mouth with the help of your dentist!
For more information, please visit: (http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/o/oral-health)