At the start of the new year, everyone you know is making resolutions. One friend says they’re going to lose 20 pounds this year and keep that weight off. Another promises to spend more time with their family instead of on working so much. While these are both important resolutions, oral health is worth a consideration.
With proper oral health, you dramatically reduce your odds of contracting oral disease and cavities. You can improve the quality of life for years to come just by making these tips from your dentist in Coeur d’Alene part of your daily routine.
Having the Right Tools at Your Disposal
When starting the new year, considering investing a new toothbrush. While the one you have may seem fine, you have to make sure the head and bristles are long enough to reach into vulnerable areas of the mouth. This includes the tight cracks in your molars where food debris easily gets stuck. When maintaining your brush, rinse it thoroughly and allow it to air dry to remove any bacteria.
You should also consider adding new tools to your oral care routine. If you don’t floss already, pick some up that’s waxed. This will reduce the chance of it tearing and fraying while you use it. Mouthwash can reach areas of the mouth that brushes have difficulty reaching. A tongue scraper can remove the thick biofilm of bacteria that gathers on the back of your tongue, causing bad breath. Adding all these tools will make your dentist very happy come your next visit.
Practicing Proper Technique
While many people say they brush twice a day, they still end up getting cavities. This is likely because they either aren’t brushing correctly or they aren’t brushing for long enough. When brushing, hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and use short strokes across the sides and tops of your teeth.
As you scrub back and forth, switch to a vertical position and brush the backs of your teeth as well. This area is notorious for plaque buildup cause most people don’t think to brush it. According to the ADA, you need to brush for at least two minutes to clean your teeth thoroughly enough. If you’re bad at gauging how long that is, use a timer as an aid.
Reducing Your Snack Intake
If you wanted to improve your diet this year, you’ll have even more incentive to stay committed. Midnight snacks should be avoided at all costs since food particles can stay on your mouth as you sleep. Bacteria will eat these particles and grow if you don’t brush them off, so either make sure to do that or remove midnight snacks from your diet entirely.
Getting to Your Dentist
A big part of preventive care is making it out to your dentist. The ADA recommends scheduling a dental exam and cleaning at least twice a year to remove hardened tartar and catch early signs of oral disease. It’s not worth skipping out on visits since only dentists can provide the professional cleaning needed to avoid gum disease and tooth decay entirely.
Make oral health your best friend this year. Your dentist in Coeur d’Alene will be happy to hear about it at your next visit!
About the Author
Dr. Flip Orban is a member of the ADA, the Academy of General Dentistry, and many other dental organizations. He was listed as one of “America’s Top Dentists” in Consumers Research for America in 2016 and received the Best Dentist Honor in 2013 and 2014. To learn more about his practice, contact him at (208) 667-1546 or visit his website.