Make Your Dental Hygiene a Priority in 2021
2020 is finally coming to an end! This year has been a tumultuous one due in large part to the global pandemic. People have had to adjust their way of living to protect themselves, their families, and their community. Businesses (even us at Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas) had to alter their operations to protect their staff and guests.
Even with the ongoing pandemic, our dental office has worked tirelessly to provide our patients with dental care in a safe yet effective way. As we end the year, we would like to thank our patients for their understanding. As we look to the new year, we look forward to helping even more people achieve their dream smiles.
However, as always, the health of your teeth and your oral hygiene are our top priorities. As we head into the new year, we will be providing you with some helpful dental hygiene tips to follow in 2021. What better time to make healthy lifestyle changes than the start of a new year?
One of the most effective dental hygiene tips is regularly visiting your dentist. When was the last time you had a dental exam? If you can’t remember, don’t worry! Give Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas a call today and schedule your next appointment!
1.) Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day
From the moment your baby teeth started growing in, you have more than likely been brushing your teeth ever since. Brushing your teeth is one of the most important things you can do for your dental hygiene. While the majority of Americans do brush their teeth twice a day, a shocking 31% do not. Even worse, 2% of people don’t brush their teeth at all. 23% of Americans have gone two or more days without brushing their teeth in the last year.
Even though people know they should, they don’t always brush twice. Not only should you brush your teeth twice a day, but you should also be brushing them for two minutes to ensure you hit every spot.
Here are some tips to brush your teeth properly:
- Using a 45-degree angle, brush your teeth in gentle, short up and down strokes along the gums to brush your front teeth.
- Use a circular up and down motion to brush the outside surfaces of your teeth. Remember to get the back molars and the upper areas of chewing surfaces.
- Brush in a gentle circular motion on the inside of the teeth.
- Flip your toothbrush upside down and back again. Use the tip of your brush to brush the inside surface of your front teeth, both top and bottom.
- Brush your tongue.
2.) Floss Daily
Much like brushing your teeth, you have likely heard about the importance of flossing. However, not many people floss their teeth. Roughly only 30% of Americans floss their teeth daily. Even worse, over 32% admitted that they never floss.
We cannot stress enough the importance of flossing. It helps prevent gum disease by removing plaque buildup in between your teeth that brushing cannot reach. By flossing daily, not only do you prevent gum disease, but you also reduce the risk of tooth decay. Additionally, you also avoid bad breath.
Here are some tips to help you floss properly:
- Break off between 18-24 inches of waxed dental floss, wrapping the ends around a finger on each hand. Leave around an inch or two to use.
- Use a mirror to help you see where you are flossing.
- With the floss taut, slide the floss between two teeth. Gently glide it up and down, rubbing up against each side of your teeth.
- Do not floss into your gums. Doing so can cause damage.
- Curve the floss at the base of your tooth to reach the space between the gums and your teeth.
3.) Use Mouthwash
Mouthwash is another great addition to your dental care routine that many people fail to include. Much like flossing, rinsing your mouth with mouthwash helps you reach areas that a toothbrush cannot. It can wash away plaque, bacteria, and debris to help keep your mouth clean. The American Dental Association (ADA) does want you to remember that mouthwash is not a suitable replacement for brushing and flossing.
There are a host of mouthwash options to choose from, with many targeting specific oral hygiene concerns (bad breath, dry mouth, gum disease, etc.). If you need help deciding which mouthwash option is best for you, speak with your dentist at your next dental exam.
4.) Cut Back on Sugar
You have more than likely heard about the dangers of sugar when it comes to your dental health. While some of the best foods contain sugar, too much of it can threaten your teeth. BMC Public Health published a study that found a correlation between the amount of sugar someone consumes and the level of tooth decay they have. As you can see, too much of one thing can be a bad thing.
Limit the amount of candy you eat, especially hard candies, sour candies, and more. Sugar-free gum is a safe alternative, as it promotes saliva production, which flushes away excess food particles. Reduce the amount of soda you drink, as well. Not only do they contain loads of sugar, but the acids in them wear away at tooth enamel.
Eat a healthy diet of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean protein sources (poultry, fish, beans, etc.), and more. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water, as well.
5.) Kick Bad Habits
There are a host of bad habits that can threaten the health of your teeth. Take the start of 2021 to kick these habits and prioritize your dental hygiene! The most obvious bad habit is smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco products. These products contain cancer-causing ingredients. On top of that, they can stain your teeth, cause gum disease, give you bad breath, and so much more.
Other bad habits to quit in the new year include:
- Using your teeth as a tool (opening packages, cutting tags, etc.)
- Chewing Ice
- Grinding your teeth
- Drinking alcohol (alcohol dries your mouth, reducing saliva production)
6.) Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Out of all dental hygiene tips, nothing helps you take care of your teeth quite like visiting your dentist. However, according to the ADA, only 58% of Americans visited their dentist at least once a year. Dental care experts recommend visiting your dentist twice a year or every six months. However, if your oral hygiene needs more care, you might have to schedule appointments more frequently.
Even if you take excellent care of your teeth and mouth and follow these dental hygiene tips, there are some things you don’t know to look for or can’t notice. Your dentist has years of experience and training and can check for any issues that you might have missed before they get out of hand. Typically, many conditions don’t make themselves known early on, but your dentist can catch them before it’s too late.
If you can’t remember the last time that you visited the dentist, then it has probably been too long. Give Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas a call today and schedule your next appointment. Make your oral hygiene a priority in 2021!