Is having better dental hygiene one of your resolutions this year? In 2014 millions of Americans admitted to not brushing and flossing the recommended twice a day. This year, let’s get our teeth clean, health, and shiny white!
1. Cavities/ Tooth Decay- Cavities happen when the enamel in a tooth is broken down by excess acid and plaque on the tooth. Limit your sugar intake, and brush twice a day to help prevent tooth decay and rotting.
2. Teeth Sensitivity- People who suffer from sensitive teeth usually experience a sharp pain deep inside the tooth. Sensitivity is usually brought on by eating something that is overly sweet, sour, hot, or cold. You can help reduce sensitivity by using toothpaste for sensitive teeth, avoiding foods with high levels of acid, and taking extra care around the gums during brushing.
3. Gingivitis– A minor form of gum disease that can be cured with brushing flossing, and a professional cleaning. Symptoms of gingivitis are red, inflamed gums that bleed easily. Keeping on top of brushing, and using soft-bristle toothbrushes, can help prevent damage your gums.
4. Bad Breath- Sometimes chronic bad breath can be a symptom of bacteria, or a bigger problem like oral cancer. If you have been suffering from bad breath for a long period of time, you should see your dentist for a dental examination.
5. Mouth Sores- Many people suffer from annoying mouth sores like cold sores, canker sores, and fever blisters. A majority of the time outbreaks are caused by stress, too much sun exposure, or a weakened immune system. Avoiding theses causes can help reduce the amount of times you break out, and using over-the-counter medicine can help treat symptoms.
6. Erosion- Tooth erosion is caused by drinking too many soft drinks, consuming too much sugar, and from too much of the bad acids in your mouth attacking the protective tooth enamel. Signs of erosion include heightened sensitivity, discoloration, and uneven/rough edges. You can prevent tooth erosion by avoiding foods with high acid levels, eating a slice of cheese or a glass of milk after meals, and by drinking water throughout the day.
- Hard candy that can crack your teeth.
- Chewing ice
- Too many acidic foods like citric fruits, olives, and bread.
- Red wine and black tea. Both contain high levels of tannin- known for staining teeth.
- Sports drinks
- Brush for a full 2 minutes.
- Floss every night.
- Get enough calcium through milk and dairy products. Bring some string cheese, apple slices, and a handful of almonds with you to work for a midday snack.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Stay hydrated by drinking water instead of sports drinks all day.
- Get routine professional cleanings every 6 months. Your hygienist is able to scrape and clean between your teeth and in hard-to-reach places, leaving your teeth clean and smooth.
- Stick to a healthy diet.
- Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, after you’re sick, or once the bristles start to become worn and frayed.
- Chew sugarless gum between meals when brushing isn’t possible.
- Hard and crunchy apples and carrots, act as a natural floss to help dislodge food from between teeth.
- Use fluoridated toothpaste.