A new year is a great time to make a fresh start, especially when it comes to your teeth. Make a commitment to keep your entire mouth healthy and happy in 2016.
Here are some things you can do to ensure your mouth stays fresh and clean all year long.
Floss at Least Once a Day
And it’s great if you can floss more than once a day. But if you only floss once, make sure you do it before bed so bacteria don’t have a chance to grow while you’re sleeping. Your mouth produces less saliva while you’re asleep making your mouth more susceptible to bacteria growth. Flossing regularly also helps eliminate bad breath and saves money on potentially expensive restorative procedures like fillings, crowns, and root canals.
Stop Drinking Sugary Drinks
Soda, energy drinks, sports drinks, juice and sweetened tea wreak havoc on your teeth. Drinks like this break down the enamel on your teeth and cause your teeth to erode. Your teeth become more sensitive and eventually become painful since they have less natural protection. Instead, opt for a glass of water or an unsweetened beverage. If you must drink a sugary drink occasionally, use a straw. It’s proven to keep your teeth safer from the damaging effects of soda.
Eat Tooth-Friendly Foods
Some foods are better for your teeth than others. For example, hard, crunchy foods like apples, cauliflower and raw carrots are natural cleansers. And dark chocolate contains antioxidants that prevent bacteria from sticking to your teeth. Raisins and strawberries contain compounds that also provide a certain amount of protection to your teeth and gums. And the phosphates and calcium found in cheese neutralize acid caused by bacteria.
Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Not only will chewing gum make your breath smell fresher, but it’s a great way to fight off cavities. Try to chew gum that contains xylitol, a natural sugar substitute. Bacteria don’t use xylitol as a food source like they can sugar. Therefore, bacteria can’t grow or produce acid while you’re chewing this type of gum. Be certain that xylitol is the first ingredient listed in the brand of gum you select so you know you’re getting a sufficient amount. It’s fine to chew a piece of gum up to five times a day for a total of about 5 grams of xylitol.
Stop Smoking and Excessive Drinking
Smoking any substance causes damage to the tissues in your mouth and it decreases blood flow. The combination makes your teeth and gums more vulnerable to decay and periodontal (gum) disease. Drinking large amounts of alcohol will strip tooth enamel which allows bacteria to reach the inner layers of your teeth and cause decay.
See Your Dentist Regularly
Come see us every six months for a check-up and professional cleaning. With all your newfound dental habits, you’ll have lots to brag about, and we’ll love to see your bright and shiny smile!