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Posts Tagged ‘prevention’

New Year’s Resolutions For A Healthier Smile

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

The New Year is here in full swing! Many of us partake in New Year’s resolutions – goals to make this year our best yet. Did you make any for 2017? Have you been sticking to them?

Often times our resolutions relate to healthy lifestyle choices. We inherently know that healthier habits keep us feeling better and enjoying life longer. Check out this list of resolutions that will help keep your smile healthy and your oral health on track – this year and always!

simple-resolutions-for-a-healthier-smile

1. Brush Daily

One of the most important commitments you can make this year – if you aren’t already – is to brushing twice per day. Brushing cleans and protects your teeth from decay and your gums from disease and inflammation. Brushing is also helpful to maintain fresh breath and a bright smile.

The best part? It only takes a few minutes per day! Without brushing regularly, plaque and bacteria build up in your mouth, increasing your risk of inflammation, infection and decay (1, 2).

2. Floss Daily

Flossing is equally as important as brushing! Flossing removes plaque between the teeth and below the gum line, where brushing can’t reach. These areas account for approximately 35% of the surfaces that need cleaning and can’t be reached with brushing alone, and they are often the places where decay and gum disease first begin (1).

3. Make Water Your Beverage Of Choice

Water is the best beverage for your smile’s health for many reasons. First, it rinses away sugars and food particles after a meal or snack. It also helps restore and maintain a proper pH level in your mouth.

Acidity in the mouth from things like coffee, soda, sugars and other food items weakens your teeth and makes it more prone to disease. Water helps to neutralize the pH level. Lastly, staying hydrated helps to avoid dry mouth and the potential bad breath that can accompany it.

choose-water-over-other-beverages

4. Opt For Whole Foods Over Processed Options

Eating well is vital to your dental health. Poor nutrition affects your gums, immune system, inflammation levels, and tooth strength. Processed foods tend to have more sugars, starches and additives that are harmful for your overall health as well as your oral health.

Whole foods contain more vitamins and minerals to support and strengthen your teeth and gums. As a bonus, crisp fruits and raw veggies such as apples, pears, carrots and celery help to keep your teeth cleaner and plaque at bay because of their fibrous quality (1, 2).

5. Switch To A Soft-Bristled Brush

A firmer toothbrush might sound like a better scrubber, but it’s actually not the best choice. Harder bristles irritate the gums, can lead to gum recession, and even sensitive teeth. A soft-bristled brush works just fine; stick to brushing for 2 whole minutes (don’t rush!) and it will get the job done effectively – and most importantly – safely.

6. Avoid Using Your Teeth As “Tools”

Our jaws are strong, and our bones are tough. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for some people to use their teeth for tasks around the house: tearing open a bag of snacks or other tricky plastic containers, twisting open a beer bottle, using a bite grip to open that stubborn bottle of nail polish, or ripping a tag off clothing. But these seemingly simple “jobs” are very hard on your teeth. Even though your teeth are strong, these are not tasks they were meant to perform.

These types of activities place trauma and pressure on the bones and jaw, and can cause a weakened tooth to chip or fracture. Keep scissors, pliers and rubber grips handy so that you can easily reach for those tools when frustrated with that plastic, metal or paper – instead of defaulting to your teeth (3, 4).

7. Double Check Your Calendar

Has it been over 6 months since your last dental checkup? If so, it’s time to give us a call! It’s always surprising how fast the weeks and months fly by. It’s a good idea to check and make sure it hasn’t been longer than you realized since your last appointment. Consistent visits to our office will allow us to prevent or detect problems early – before they become painful, expensive, and tough to treat. And our examination will help let you know if there are any habits you can change to enhance your oral health.

Call Hagen Dental Practice Today

We want you to succeed in all your oral health resolutions so that you can love and maintain a healthy smile! Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500.

 

Sources/References:

  1. https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/new-year.html
  2. http://www.firstchoicedental.com/blog/5-new-years-resolutions-healthier-smile
  3. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/do-you-have-these-5-bad-dental-habits#1
  4. http://www.210wpfd.com/5-easy-new-years-resolutions/

Preventing the Flu Starts with Healthy Oral Habits

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

In the midst of flu season, many of us will rely on vitamins and supplements, washing our hands, getting enough sleep, and hydrating to stay healthy. These are all great, but there’s another, somewhat overlooked, prevention that is as simple as keeping a clean toothbrush!

We want to help you prevent the flu and those nasty colds! On our Facebook
page we’ve asked how long you should wait to change your toothbrush. The answer: two to three months. If you’ve never been especially great at remembering to switch out your toothbrush for a new one, try using the change of seasons as a reminder. You can even put a quick note on your calendar.

We house and produce hundreds of microorganisms in our mouth that can be transferred to our toothbrush when we brush our teeth. (So that means at least twice a day, we are encountering these microorganisms!)

When you’re sick, it’s important to store your toothbrush away from others and to replace your toothbrush immediately after you are well again. Even it toothbrushes are not touching, airborne bacteria from sneezing and coughing move easily!

The best ways to ensure your brush remains clean throughout its lifespan include:

  • Don’t share your toothbrush with others.
  • Rinse your toothbrush with hot water and remove any excess saliva, food, or toothpaste.
  • Don’t cover toothbrush head for extended period of times – it creates a moist environment where bacteria thrive.
  • Always store brush in upright position.
  • Keep multiple toothbrushes separate.

Remember to wash your hands before and after you brush your teeth as your hands are coming into contact with your mouth as well! (Also note, that in addition to preventing the flu and cold this season, washing your hands can also prevent oral inflammatory disease.)

Last but not least, remember to brush your tongue and to floss! You miss the equivalent of about one third of your teeth surface area when you don’t – so you’re leaving all that bacteria in there to grow and deteriorate your oral and overall heath.

If you have any questions regarding these pointers, ask on our Facebook or Twitter, or give us a call at 513.251.5500! We’re always happy to help.