The start of the new year is the perfect time to set resolutions for yourself. As you are creating goals to live a healthier, happier life, do not forget about your dental health. This year, commit to your oral health with three easy changes to your oral hygiene. As your dentist in Tappan, we will help you reach your goals for a healthier smile.
Brush Twice a Day
The American Dental Association recommends everyone brushes their teeth twice a day to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. However, only seven out of ten Americans brush twice a day. Brushing is essential for removing food particles and plaque from the teeth. If these are not removed, the enamel will weaken, leading to cavities. In addition, the gums will also become infected, causing gum disease.
You need to brush your teeth twice a day—once in the morning and once at night. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste. Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and gently clean all surfaces of your teeth. Brush your teeth for at least two minutes.
In addition to brushing, you need to floss your teeth each day. Flossing is vital for removing plaque and tarter that cannot be reached with a toothbrush, such as under the gum line and in between the teeth. Although you know you are supposed to floss your teeth each day, 27% of adults lie to their dentist about doing so.
If you do not floss daily, you are likely to become one of the 50% of Americans who have a form of gum disease. Gum disease causes serious oral health complications, including tooth loss. Not to mention, gum disease leads to severe overall health problems, such as cardiovascular disease.
Use an ADA-approved dental floss to clean in between the teeth and around the gum line. Insert the floss between two teeth and form a “C” shape around a tooth. Gently slide the floss down to the gum line and back up to the crown of the tooth.
Visit Your Dentist
Your home oral hygiene is only half of the care you need to protect the health of your teeth and gums. You need to visit your dentist every six months as recommended by the American Dental Association. Unfortunately, only 62% of adults visited the dentist this past year, placing their oral health at risk.
Preventive appointments are vital because the provide the professional cleaning you need to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Even with the best home oral hygiene, it is not enough to stop damage to the teeth and gums. In addition, you need a comprehensive checkup to monitor your oral health. With a regular checkup, dental problems will be detected early for quick intervention. This saves you from invasive and costly procedures in the future.
As your dentist, we want to see you achieve your resolutions for a healthy smile this year. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to seeing you smile.