Did you make a new year’s resolution?
Many people have a love them or hate them relationship with resolutions. Statistically, they’re very hard to keep, even when we have the best of intentions.
Regardless of the resolutions you did or didn’t make, it’s always the right time to prioritize oral health and a better smile. If you’re committed to taking steps toward a new smile in 2022 but you’re unsure where to start, don’t worry. There are simple, effective ways to care for your smile – even if you already make regular trips to the dentist or orthodontist.
In this article we’ll recommend 4 practical tips for staving off tooth decay and wear, keeping your teeth from moving, and making sure your pearly whites stay healthy for life.
Ready? Let’s get started!
1 | Eat Well, and Think Twice Before Snacking All Day
Eating more, smaller meals throughout the day has become a diet fad recently because it helps reduce hunger between meals, and helps people lose weight. However, more frequent meals and snacking can negatively impact your teeth.
It’s well known that sugary foods are problematic for oral health. Not only can highly processed foods keep your personal wellness goals out of reach, they are also one of the biggest contributors to premature tooth decay. Constant exposure to sugar throughout the day produces acids that eat away at tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is the best natural defense against cavities and disease. As a result, your teeth and gums are much more susceptible to bacterial growth and infections, including gingivitis.
For starters, then, you can easily adjust your daily snacking ritual to focus more on healthy foods that are low in sugar. But, did you know that even healthy snacks cause erosion and tooth rot? It’s true!
Even healthy foods like nuts, crackers, and dried fruit can produce plaque buildup. Even though these foods don’t have as much sugar as soda and sweet snacks, the plaque they leave behind can still produce enamel-destroying acid.
If you’re finding it hard to fight cravings all day, there are a few things you can do to keep your mouth clean:
- Limit your snacking periods to once or twice per day, instead of on-demand snacking. As your body grows accustomed to snacking, you may find yourself eating out of pure habit instead of when you’re actually hungry.
- Drink water or tea after snacking to help rinse your mouth.
- Brush your teeth after mid-day meals and snacks.
2 | Perfect Your Brushing Routine and Method
Brushing is one of the simplest and most impactful ways to care for your smile. Removing plaque buildup and food particles from your teeth keeps them clean and bright between dental cleanings, or while wearing orthodontic appliances. Twice daily brushing is a great baseline for most adults and kids. Keeping a travel brush and toothpaste on hand is a good idea so you can quickly brush on the go.
While most people feel that hard, vigorous brushing gets their teeth cleaner, this style of brushing actually harms teeth. Forceful brush strokes (especially with stiff bristles) can damage gums and wear away enamel, causing more decay in the long run.
Instead, a better approach is to apply less pressure and focus on gentle, even brush strokes for several minutes during each cleaning session. Taking time to floss and thoroughly clean common problem areas like molars and behind your teeth is much more important than hard brushing!
3 | Keep up Compliance with Orthodontic Appliances
If you’re currently undergoing orthodontic treatments, or if you’re using a retainer to help keep your teeth straight after treatment, compliance is key to maintaining a healthy smile that you love. Here are just a few ways that you can make the most of your orthodontic treatments to keep teeth straight and healthy:
- Diligence with your treatment recommendations and cleaning – don’t wait until treatments are over to brush and floss regularly.
- See your orthodontist right away if you experience any issues, including broken or lost bands for braces. Fixing a problem right away will keep it from worsening and ensure that you can end your treatments on time!
- Use your post-treatment devices regularly as recommended by your orthodontist. Retainers are designed specifically to help you maintain the best possible smile.
4 | Learn How to Create a Masterpiece Smile for Life
Helping patients get a smile they love is our top priority. To us, a masterpiece smile is one you’re proud to show and that gives you confidence when meeting someone for the first time. We know how important a smile is for enjoying social interactions and truly feeling like yourself.
No matter your age or the condition of your teeth, our team is ready to help make your masterpiece smile a reality. In the video below, you’ll hear directly from Dr. Oppenhuizen about the process and his personal passion for the “art” of creating a new smile.
Make regular orthodontic checkups part of your oral care routine in the new year, and schedule your first appointment online today – it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!