Did you commit to taking better care of yourself in 2017? If so, you may have started by trying to eat healthier and working out more. You might even have taken up yoga or dancing, as ways to relieve stress and to burn calories. Daily walks with your dog may also have become a favorite new routine, and these are all great steps for your body and your overall wellbeing. But what about your smile? When it comes to protecting your pearly whites, the good news is that effective preventive care isn’t complicated or time-consuming. It just requires that you make a daily effort to give your teeth and gums the preventive care they need!
1. Add Flossing to Your Daily Routine
One simple way to better protect your smile against cavities and other common dental problems is to add flossing to your daily hygiene routine. While most adults regularly brush their teeth twice a day, as recommended by their restorative dentist, less than 30 percent even claim to be flossing on a regular basis.
Flossing is important because it helps remove more of the bacteria that brushing can leave behind. Since toothbrush bristles cannot effectively reach the small crevices between the teeth, bacteria can remain there and lead to plaque buildup.
Once calcified onto the surface of teeth, plaque creates acidity that can wear away the teeth’s enamel, but also cause gum disease. So, to protect both your teeth and gums, it is important to floss on a daily basis.
2. Avoid Added Sugars
Another way to protect the smile is to avoid added sugars, which can contribute to plaque buildup. While white table sugar is often considered worse than other sweeteners, when it comes to your smile, most added sugars are similarly dangerous for the dental health. This includes honey, molasses, brown sugar, and even agave nectar.
So avoid products which list sugar in any form as a leading ingredient, and brush after meals, if possible. Drinking water instead of sweetened beverages is another great choice!
3. Visit the Dentist Regularly
Finally, it’s important to schedule regular dental cleanings, to help protect your smile. For most patients, this means visiting the dentist at least twice a year, though you may find that your smile requires more frequent cleanings to adequately prevent cavities.