January 1, 2019
Many of us make New Year’s resolutions that will result in better health, like losing weight or visiting the gym more often. If you’re doing that – or even if you aren’t – consider making some dental resolutions. Keeping your mouth healthy helps keep the rest of you healthy too!
We’ve provided a list of eight dental resolutions for you to consider. They’re less labor intensive than going to the gym. It’s simply a matter of forming regular habits to discourage tooth decay and gum disease. If we can help you in any way, call Appalachian Dental Care at [828-355-5673].
Take It Easy on Teeth When Brushing
Almost everyone can make some improvements in their brushing habits. One common issue is brushing too hard. Always use a soft-bristled brush and don’t apply too much pressure. Overly aggressive brushing can damage your tooth enamel. Another common problem is not brushing long enough. Brush at least twice a day, for at least two minutes each time. Until you develop a good sense of how long two minutes is, use a timer.
Use Your Teeth Only for Smiling and Eating
Just use your teeth for eating and for smiling. Too many folks use them to open packages, to chew on pens, or for other similar tasks. If you’re one of those people, resolve to stop doing it as it can damage your teeth. Crunching on ice is an especially bad habit.
Get Yourself a Custom Mouthguard
According to the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA), up to 39 percent of all dental injuries are sports-related. Repairing damaged teeth or replacing missing ones can get expensive. It’s preferable to prevent dental injuries before they can happen, by wearing a custom-made athletic mouthguard. It’s made using impressions of your teeth, so it fits much better than a store-bought mouthguard. Wear it every time you play, even at practice. Since it fits so well, you probably won’t mind!
If you’ve got a teeth grinding habit, we can also make you a custom mouthguard to protect your teeth from damage and even prevent the jaw pain and headaches that can result from grinding.
Switch Up Your Snack Habits
When snacking try to avoid sugary and/or starchy foods as much as possible. Try substituting healthier choices such as cheese sticks, yogurt, or nuts. Fruits high in fiber like an apple are also a good choice, as they can act like a natural toothbrush. If you do want a sugary or starchy treat, enjoy it as part of a larger meal. Brush your teeth afterward, if possible.
Skip Sugary Drinks Like Soda
Sugary drinks are awful for your teeth. They contain lots of sugar as well as acids that eat away at tooth enamel. They’re especially damaging if you sip on them all day, since that gives the acids a better chance to eat away at your teeth. If you do indulge in one, have it with a meal if possible. And watch sugars in beverages like fruit juices and sports drinks. Nutritionally, they are better for you than soda – but they can do a lot of dental damage too. Water is the best choice!
Drop Your Tobacco Habit
We know you’ve heard it from your physician. We’ll second the recommendation to give up cigarettes and other tobacco products. They do a real number on your smile. They:
- Increase your risk of oral cancers
- Can cause gum disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults
- Stain your teeth, so your smile won’t look as bright as it should
Be Prepared for Dental Emergencies
Since minutes can count in dental emergencies, the best way to handle one is to prepare for them in advance. It’s a good idea to assemble a dental emergency kit with items like sterile gauze, dental wax, and an anti-inflammatory pain reliever. Make sure you program our number into your smartphone. It’ll be easier to contact us right away if you don’t have to search for our number.
See Us Twice a Year for Dental Appointments
See us twice a year for dental exams and cleanings. It’s the single most important service you’ll receive at our office, as it helps keep your teeth healthy. It also gives us a good opportunity to identify dental problems when they are simple and inexpensive to treat.
Let us help you keep your dental resolutions! Call us at [828-355-5673] if you need to make an appointment.