Most of us tend to splurge on cookies, cakes, and candy over the holiday season, but now that January is almost over, it’s time to get back on track with your dental health! The store shelves are already stocked with Valentine’s treats, so this is the perfect time to review your oral hygiene and make any changes if needed. At Scott Edwards Cosmetic and Family Dentistry, helping our patients achieve a healthy, confident smile is at the top of our New Year’s resolutions. We’ve put together a few of our top tips to keep your smile in shape in 2019, so keep reading below to find out more!
Take a good look at your dental hygiene routine
At this point in your life, you probably already have a familiar routine when it comes to brushing and flossing. However, it’s worth reviewing what you’re doing from time to time. Guidelines and recommendations can change, and you want to be sure you’re doing everything you can to keep your smile looking and feeling great!
You know how important brushing and flossing is when it comes to keeping your teeth and gums healthy and clean, but you may not realize that how you carry out these tasks is almost as important as how often you do it. Many people get that part wrong, and that’s where getting back to basics can help. Bacterial plaque that is allowed to accumulate can cause big problems, from cavities to tooth decay, and even gum disease in some cases. In order to successfully remove it, there are some fundamental rules you should always follow.
- Brush all your teeth, every time you brush.
- Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle gently against the gum line.
- Brush from the base of the tooth up to the chewing surface.
- Use short, round strokes for the front and the back of teeth.
- Use short, sweeping strokes for the chewing surfaces.
- Be consistent when brushing across each tooth.
- Brush the tongue and roof of the mouth from back to front.
- Replace your toothbrush every few months, or sooner if you’ve had a cold or other illness
- Floss every night before bed
Keep up with your regular checkups
Visiting our office every 6 months or so for a checkup is a great way to keep teeth and gums healthy. It also allows us to check for any potential or developing issues that may need attention. These appointments will typically have two parts: an examination by one of our doctors, and a thorough cleaning of your teeth. We’ll check for cavities and take x-rays if needed. We’ll also check for plaque and tartar on your teeth. This is especially important because sticky plaque can harden into tartar if it’s not removed, and tartar can’t be removed with simple brushing and flossing. Leaving both of these unchecked can cause oral diseases, so it’s in your best interest to have dental professionals like us take a look and give your teeth some extra TLC where necessary!
To remove plaque and tartar, we use special tools. The process is referred to as “scaling,” and once we’ve finished, we may polish your teeth. In most cases, we use a gritty paste for this, which helps to remove any surface stains on your teeth. We’ll then floss for you to make sure that the areas in between your teeth are clean. During this visit, we’ll also check your gums, and will often carry out a careful examination of your tongue, throat, face, head, and neck to look for any signs of swelling, redness, or possible signs of cancer.
Regular checkups with us help rule out any potential cavities and allow us to catch any concerns that aren’t immediately apparent, keeping your smile sparkling throughout the year.
Healthier foods for a healthier smile
We all know that what we eat and drink has an impact on how our bodies function. The beginning of a brand new year is a great time to begin building healthier food habits! Aim for meals and snacks that are good for your body, mind, and mouth, like:
Milk and other dairy products
It’s true – milk really does do a body good! Milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy can pack a calcium-filled punch that helps keep bones and teeth strong.
Whole grain bread and pastas
All those complex carbohydrates give bacteria less digestible food to grow, and offer an abundance of nutrients to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Chicken, red meat, and fatty fish
Protein is the obvious start of the show with these foods, but they also contain phosphorus, an important mineral that strengthens and protects the enamel of your teeth.
Fresh fruits and vegetables
Eating a rainbow of fruits and veggies is one of the best things you can do for yourself! They offer high amounts of magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, beta carotene, calcium and magnesium, minerals that can really help with improving and maintaining your oral health.
We can help your smile shine in 2019…and beyond!
At Scott Edwards Cosmetic and Family Dentistry, we take pride in helping patients build the foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles. Our experienced providers are supported by a capable and caring staff, and we have two conveniently located offices to help you achieve the smile you’ve been looking for. From checkups and cleanings to comprehensive cosmetic dentistry, we offer a wide variety of services, but our care doesn’t stop there! If you have any questions or concerns, or simply need a little extra help or encouragement, we’re here for you. The simple tips we’ve listed above give you a great start on oral health this year, but our team will always go above and beyond to guarantee you the bright, healthy smile you deserve!