04 Jan Making a Dental New Year Resolution?
Have you considering making a dental New Year’s resolutions for 2021?
I know New Year’s resolutions can be difficult to keep but these are easily achievable habits which will have a positive impact on your oral hygiene.
1) Regular tooth brushing , interdentally cleaning and flossing
This is essential and is one we all should be doing but all too often time pressures mean we skip the occasional tooth brushing, or only brush for 20 seconds.
There are 20 billion bacteria in our mouth and they reproduce every five hours. So if we go 24 hours without brushing, those 20 billion become 100 billion! It is these bacteria that cause the damage and the greater their numbers the greater the damage. So regular brushing, interdental cleaning and flossing is essential to maintain our oral health.
2) Use the right equipment
- Toothbrush – preferably an electric with a pressure sensor so you don’t brush too hard and with a timer so you brush for the correct amount of time.
- Fluoride Toothpaste
- Dental Floss
- Interdental Brushes – Yes, we recommend using floss and interdental brushes. Floss is great for cleaning between the teeth and interdental brushes clean the sides of the teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach
3) Make and keep regular check-ups and hygiene appointments
However good your oral hygiene is at home, check-ups and appointments with a professional dental hygienist are still essential. Only through regular check-ups can you get a clear sense of the health of your teeth and gums and also hope to catch any problems quickly. A recent study by Colorado State University found a correlation between people who did not visit the dentist regularly and increased presence of a pathogen that causes periodontal disease. So the advice “prevention is better than cure” remains true, so please remember to book your regular hygiene and dental check-ups.
4) Make changes to our diet
It is very difficult, if not impossible to have a diet that does not affect our teeth. Foods that contain sugars allow plaque bacteria to produce acids and toxins which detrimentally affect the health of our teeth and gums. Acidic foods and drinks lead to erosion of tooth enamel whilst drinks of tea and coffee lead to staining of our teeth. So it is better to limit our intake of these foods and decrease the frequency we expose our teeth to sugar. The more often we consume sugar (even a tiny bit), the more often our teeth are put under attack and the greater the risk of damage our tooth enamel. The impact of these foods and drinks can lessened by drinking water or chewing sugar free after you have eaten or drunk them.
5) Have a healthier lifestyle
Dental health is a part of our overall health and doesn’t exist in isolation to our overall wellbeing. There are many examples of health conditions such as; heart disease, strokes and diabetes that are made worse with poor oral health. Whilst eating well, regular exercise and getting the right amount of sleep aren’t linked directly our dental health they are linked to our over wellbeing and so allow us to take cate of our teeth and gums.