When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, we think it’s better late than never. That’s especially true when it comes to your smile. You’ll still have time to make some dental resolutions!
We’ve suggested eight resolutions that will make a big difference in your dental health. åUnlike workouts at the gym, they aren’t especially difficult. Bonus: Many of these suggestions will help improve your overall health along with your oral health! If you have any questions for us or want to schedule an appointment, call Metairie Dental Studio in Metairie, LA at 504-291-0042.
Improve Your Tooth Brushing Technique
Almost everyone would benefit from improving their brushing technique. Two common mistakes are not brushing long enough and applying too much pressure. We suggest brushing at least twice a day, for at least two minutes both times. Use a timer, at least until you develop a good sense of how long two minutes is. Select a brush with soft bristles, and don’t brush too hard. You can damage tooth enamel with overly aggressive brushing.
Give Up Tobacco Products
We’ll bet your doctor has made this same recommendation. In addition to being bad for your heart and lungs, cigarettes and chewing tobacco can also cause numerous dental problems. Tobacco products:
- Can cause gum disease, the leading cause of tooth loss among adults
- Increase your risk of oral cancers
- Stain your teeth, which makes your smile less attractive
Change How You Snack
If you’re a frequent snacker, avoid sugary and/or starchy foods as much as you can. Healthier choices include cheese sticks, yogurt, nuts, or fruits high in fiber like an apple. If you want a sugary or starchy snack, try to consume it as part of a larger meal. Brush your teeth afterward, if possible.
The starch in chips quickly changes to sugar in your mouth. If you nibble on chips all day, instead of eating them with a sandwich at lunch, you’re increasing your odds the snack of suffering dental damage.
Wear a Mouthguard to Protect Teeth
Up to 39 percent of all dental injuries are sports-related, according to the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA). Since fixing damaged teeth with a restoration like a crown can be expensive. It’s better to prevent dental injuries before they can happen. We recommend wearing a custom-made athletic mouthguard. Since it’s made using impressions of your teeth, it will fit you perfectly. Unlike store-bought mouthguards with a poor fit, you won’t be tempted to leave it out at game time.
We can also make you a custom mouthguard to prevent you from grinding your teeth, a habit that can damage your teeth and even cause jaw pain and headaches.
Don’t Use Your Teeth as Tools
It’s a bad idea to use your teeth for anything but eating and for smiling. Never use them for tasks like opening a package, and try to avoid chewing on pens or other objects. Chewing ice is an especially bad habit since ice is so hard it can damage your teeth.
Be Ready for a Dental Emergency
The best way to deal with a dental emergency is to prepare for it ahead of time. It’s a good idea to put together a dental emergency kit with items like sterile gauze, dental wax, and an anti-inflammatory pain reliever. At the very least, add our number to your smartphone contacts. It’s important to see us as quickly as possible for many emergencies, and you’ll save time if you don’t have to search for our number.
Drink More Water
Water is the best beverage you can consume for your teeth – and the rest of you too. Sugary drinks are terrible for your teeth. They are especially problematic if you sip on them throughout the day – instead of, say, having a glass of soda with lunch. They contain lots of sugar as well as acids that eat away at tooth enamel. While they are less damaging, fruit juices and sports drinks can contain lots of sugar and/or acids too.
Don’t Skip Dental Exams
One of the most important things you can do for your teeth is to see us every six months for dental exams and cleanings. We know it can be tough fitting them into a busy calendar, but we make it as easy as we can.
Let us help you make 2019 a great year for dental health! Call us at 504-291-0042 in Metairie.