Dental habits for 2017 that will save your time and money
Cavities, gum disease and other dental or periodontal issues translate into costly and time-consuming visits to the dentist or specialist. Also, what starts as a few cavities typically leads to more complicated problems later, such as root canals or even dentures, which require repeat work over the years. That means even more time and money.
It’s never too late to reap huge oral health benefits with a few easy changes that are simple to work into your day.
In today’s world, sugar is found in almost every commercially prepared food and drink as a preservative. Reducing (or even eliminating) the amount of sugar that you add to your meals, including that morning cup of tea or coffee, and similarly curtailing the volume of juice, soft drinks, sweets, desserts and prepared foods you consume will go a long way to improving your oral health.
Favour fruits and vegetables (and water)
When it comes to preparing your meals and snacks, favour fruits and vegetables, which work to clean and remineralise your teeth by stimulating saliva during chewing. Augment the high water content of fruits and vegetables by favouring water when you reach for a drink. Drinking water helps wash away acids and bacteria that form in your mouth after eating.
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The statistics are staggering: smokers are 400% more like to develop gum disease, and have increased risk for certain cancers (oral and throat) and oral fungal infections. When looking for alternatives, remember that vape liquids contain sugar, which increases your chance of developing cavities.
Clean your teeth and gums daily
The number of times a day that you clean your teeth depends on your unique health profile. For some people, gently brushing your teeth with a soft toothbrush twice daily and flossing to clean your gums once daily is adequate. For others, twice a day flossing may be required, or even three times for both brushing and flossing. Your dentist will indicate the schedule that’s right for you.
On the plus side, most dentists agree that the amount of time that you need to brush is only 2 to 3 minutes each session. So with this habit, your total time commitment is under 10 minutes a day, even for those who brush and floss three times daily.
It’s important to note that many people think that brushing alone is enough. The fact is that brushing leaves up to 35% of plaque on the gums and between the teeth that only flossing or a floss pick can remove. That’s why most cavities and gum disease actually start between the teeth. It may not be an exciting activity, but flossing is definitely essential to preventing a multitude of oral health issues.
Visit your dentist at least twice a year
Regular oral exams and cleanings are an important component of good oral hygiene. Cleanings remove tartar, which cannot be removed by brushing and flossing, and typically include a fluoride treatment to protect your teeth. Oral exams verify signs or symptoms of issues, and can either stop problems before they start or minimise damage by catching issues early.