It’s hard to believe, but here we are again at the start of a brand new year! And if you’d rather avoid making the typical New Year’s resolution to get in better shape or eat a healthier diet, why not get creative and get your smile in better shape instead? Having a healthy smile adds so much to your overall quality of life and self-confidence, so it’s well worth it. And, fortunately, it’s easier than you might think to have healthy teeth and gums. You’ll not only have a smile that looks better in 2019, but you’ll also minimize the amount of dental work you need from a dentist in West Monroe. It’s a win-win! Keep reading below to learn more.
Focus On Flossing
Flossing is probably the #1 challenge for most people. But one thing that makes it easier is to start small by setting a realistic goal. For example, if you never floss, aim to floss just 3-4 days a week at first. Once you’ve got that down, it will be easier to make it an everyday habit.
Also, many people find that they’re too tired at bedtime to floss. If you can relate, try doing it earlier in the day when you have more energy, like right after dinner or even lunch.
Schedule a Checkup
Checkups are crucial for prevention, and people who see a dentist regularly usually need less major dental work than those who don’t. Here’s what those visits include:
- A review of your medical history and a blood pressure screening
- Annual X-rays to help dentists find problems that they can’t see with their eyes alone and treat those problems when they’re small
- An oral cancer screening
- Annual gum evaluation
- A professional cleaning and polish
- Oral hygiene tips
- Dietary counseling as needed
- Dental exam
Limit Your Sugar Intake
Unfortunately, even regular checkups and good oral hygiene habits can’t counteract the effects of consuming too much sugar. And, while you don’t have to give it up completely, minimizing the total amount overall will greatly reduce your risk of cavities.
In addition, the frequency with which you consume sugar also matters. Remember the phrase, “Sip all day, get decay” to help you avoid sipping on sugary beverages or snacking throughout the day.
Make Oral Hygiene Convenient
You can’t always brush and floss right after a meal or snack. But you can chew sugar-free gum to stimulate salivary flow and neutralize the acids in your mouth that cause cavities. If you don’t have any sugar-free gum, at least swish with water several times.
By incorporating these habits into your life, you’ll reduce your risk of oral health problems and keep your smile looking its best in 2019!
About the Author
With 40 years of experience as a general, restorative and cosmetic dentist in West Monroe, Dr. L. King Scott has seen the power of prevention time and time again. He knows that patients with good habits need less dental work overall, so he encourages everyone to schedule regular checkups and do well with their oral hygiene. If you have any other questions, he can be reached via his website.