With the first of the year rapidly approaching, it’s time for many of us to start thinking about resolutions. If you’re making any resolutions for your health, like losing weight or regularly visiting the gym, consider adding some resolutions for good dental health to your list.
We’ve provided a list of suggested resolutions for you here. They aren’t difficult; it’s just a matter of forming regular habits that result in healthy teeth and gums. Bonus: Several of our suggestions aren’t just good for your dental health; they’re good for your overall health too!
If you have any questions for us or would like to schedule an appointment, call 1st In Smiles in Plano, TX at 972-380-8105.
Change Your Snack Habits
If you’re a frequent snacker, try to avoid sugary and/or starchy foods as much as possible. Make healthier choices such as cheese sticks, yogurt, nuts, or fruits high in fiber like an apple. If you are going to consume a sugary or starchy snack, make it a one-time treat during the day. And brush your teeth afterward, if possible.
The starch in chips changes to sugar. So if you indulge in chips throughout the day, instead of eating them with a sandwich at lunch, you’re increasing the odds the snack will result in dental damage.
Don’t Use Your Teeth as Tools
Teeth are meant for eating and for smiling. It’s a bad idea to use them for anything else, like opening a package or chewing on a pen in concentration while you work. Crunching on ice is an especially bad habit that can damage your teeth.
Give Up Smoking
We’re sure your doctor has recommended you give up smoking. We’re echoing that advice. Cigarettes (or chewing tobacco) cause numerous dental problems. They:
- Can cause gum disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults
- Increase your risk of oral cancers
- Stain your teeth, which makes your smile a lot less attractive
Get a Mouthguard to Protect Teeth
According to the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA), up to 39 percent of all dental injuries are sports-related. And repairing damaged teeth with a restoration like a crown can be expensive. It’s better to prevent dental injuries before they can happen, by wearing a custom-made athletic mouthguard. We take impressions of your teeth, so your mouthguard will fit you perfectly. Unlike the ill-fitting mouthguards you buy from a store, you won’t be tempted to leave it on the sideline.
We can also make you a custom mouthguard to prevent you from grinding your teeth, a habit that can result in damaged tooth enamel and even jaw pain and headaches.
Improve Your Brushing Habits
Most of us would benefit from improving our brushing habits. Two common issues are not brushing long enough and using too much pressure. We recommend brushing at least twice a day, for at least two minutes each time. Use a timer, at least until you develop a good sense of how long two minutes is while brushing. Always choose a soft-bristled brush and be careful not to brush too hard. Overly aggressive brushing can damage tooth enamel.
Avoid Sugary Drinks
Sugary drinks are terrible for your teeth, especially if you sip on them throughout the day – instead of, say, enjoying a glass of sweet tea with lunch. They contain lots of sugar as well as acids that eat away at tooth enamel. Water is the best choice. Be careful of 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.
Prepare 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 assemble a dental emergency kit. Check out our earlier blog post for ideas on what to include in your kit. At the very least, add our number to your smartphone contacts. In many emergencies it’s important to see us as quickly as possible – and that’s easier if you don’t have to search for our number.
Don’t Miss Dental Exams
One of the most important things you can do for your teeth is see us twice a year 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 by offering early morning hours, evening hours, and even Saturday appointments.
Let us help you make 2019 a great year for dental health! Call us at 972-380-8105 if you need to make an appointment.