The holiday season is all but gone and 2019 is upon us. Time to make those New Year’s resolutions that will keep us busy over the next 12 months. While your mind is on the future, take a minute to read these tooth care tips from a family dentist in Manchester.
Tip # 1: Know Why Sugar Is Bad for Your Teeth
You’ve heard it from dental professionals, and probably your parents, for all your life: sugar is bad for your teeth. But why is this such a familiar refrain? Is it just overblown hype? Or is there real evidence to back it up? Decide for yourself after reading these facts:
- As you read these words, harmful bacteria are at work in your mouth. These microscopic invaders expel corrosive acids that wear away your teeth’s protective enamel, exposing the sensitive dentin inside. You can think of these creatures as tiny machines whose purpose is to make you miserable.
- Do you know what these pesky bugs use for fuel? You guessed it: sugar. They love the stuff. You give them a helping hand every time you eat sugary foods. This is why dentists spend so much time cautioning the public against excess sugar consumption.
- Eliminating sugar from your diet entirely is almost impossible. But all of us can control our intake by eating a wide variety of healthy foods. This includes lean sources of protein and calcium, which give your body the raw material it needs to keeps your teeth healthy.
Tip # 2: Live a Tooth-Healthy Lifestyle
Now that you know the nature of your dental enemy, let’s look at ways to keep the invader at bay:
- Drink plenty of water. This helps to rinse away food particles that might otherwise lead to plaque and tartar. It also enables your body to produce plenty of saliva, which has potent anti-bacterial features. In fact, you can think of saliva as the “security guard” that patrols your mouth 24/7, ever on the alert for trouble from harmful bacteria. This is why dry mouth is more than an inconvenience; it’s a persistent threat to dental health.
- Keep a toothbrush and toothpaste handy. There’s no reason why most of us can’t extend the benefits of brushing by keeping the necessary supplies on hand in our vehicle or workspace. Brushing as soon as possible after mid-day meals is important for preventing cavities.
- Replace your toothbrush every 90 days or when the current one becomes frayed, whichever comes first. A worn brush is a poor defense against tooth decay.
Tip # 3: Use Proper Brushing Technique
While we’re on the topic of brushing, we should discuss how to get the best results from the practice. You should follow these tips:
- Take your time. A thorough brushing session should last 2-3 minutes.
- Brush every surface of each tooth. This includes front, back, and chewing surface. Brush all the way to the gum line.
- Brush the inside of your mouth, including the tongue. This will minimize the risk of harmful bacteria spreading inside your mouth.
Tip # 4: See Your Dentist Every 6 Months
You can follow all the tips in this post and still come up short, if you fail to see your dentist in Manchester for regular cleanings and oral exams. Over time, bacteria-filled plaque and tartar can build up on your teeth, a problem which requires professional care to fully resolve. Brushing and flossing are essential, but not enough by themselves.
The new year is the perfect time for starting afresh. Get your 2019 off to a positive start by using the tips in this post. In times to come, you’ll look back on the year with a smile on your face.
About the Author
Dr. Jonathan Mason is proud to call the Manchester area home. A graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine, he completed his residency at the VA Medical Center in Philadelphia. You can reach his office online or by calling (802) 362-1099.