7 New Year’s Resolutions to Improve Your Dental Hygiene

December 10, 2020 Kalamazoo Smiles

dental hygiene kalamazoo dentistPracticing good dental hygiene is a form of self-care. Yet, our dentist in Kalamazoo, MI, understands that it can be hard to carve out the time we need to take care of our health.

To continue on this path, there are two things you must know:

1.) You are worth the effort it takes to maintain a healthy smile.
2.) What you do today matters.

Here’s how to get started on your journey to better oral health.

1. Schedule Routine Dental Cleanings

Your dentist is your partner in helping you maintain a healthy smile for life. But first, you need to schedule a teeth cleaning appointment with our dental office.

During your appointment, we’ll examine the inside of your mouth and possibly take X-rays. This will give us a full picture of your oral health.

We’ll also remove plaque and tartar so you can avoid cavities and other oral health problems.

In general, we recommend that our patients see us every six months. That way, we’re able to catch any issues before they have a chance to worsen.

Not only will this help you avoid future dental pain, but it’ll also help you save money in the long run. Preventive dental care is much less expensive than what it would cost to restore a badly decayed or damaged tooth.

That’s why dental hygiene is so important!

2. Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day

Brushing your teeth may seem like a simple task. But it’s for that exact reason why people often skip it when they’re rushing to get out the door or put the kids to bed.

Dedicate two minutes in the morning and two minutes in the evening for brushing your teeth. That’s four minutes total.

Brushing your teeth twice a day will help you remove plaque from the surface of your teeth and gums.

Take a moment to run your tongue over your teeth. Do your teeth feel smooth or rough? If your teeth feel rough or “fuzzy,” that’s a sign that you have dental plaque buildup.

The good news is that you can remove plaque at home by brushing twice a day. Once plaque hardens into tartar though, it can only be removed by a dental professional.

3. Floss Your Teeth

Floss your teeth once a day to remove any plaque hiding between teeth. To do this, wrap about 18” of floss around your middle fingers and pinch the floss between your thumbs and forefingers.

Next, gently insert the floss between two teeth. Pull the floss against the side of your tooth until it makes a “C” shape. Then, move the floss up and down against the side of the tooth.

When you move onto the next tooth, reposition the floss between your fingers so you’re starting with a fresh section.

4. Start Using Fluoride Mouth Rinse

Fluoride helps to remineralize the enamel. This is important because once you lose enamel, it’s gone for good.

Patients who have lost enamel are more likely to have sensitive teeth. If you feel a twinge of pain or sensitivity when you drink a hot cup of coffee or indulge in ice cream, you may have already lost some tooth enamel.

The good news is that you can prevent further enamel loss by brushing, flossing, and using a fluoride mouth rinse.

5. Eat a Balanced Diet

It’s impossible to change your entire diet overnight. But you can start with small steps, like substituting pop for water. Little by little you can start changing your diet in the direction you want it to go.

By reducing your sugar intake, you’ll be able to keep down plaque buildup inside your mouth.

6. Prevent Bruxism with a Night Guard

Do you grind or clench your teeth at night? If left untreated, this can erode your enamel over time and increase your risk of cavities, chips, fractures, and other oral health issues.

For this reason, we recommend scheduling an appointment with Dr. Bandos if you suspect teeth grinding is affecting dental hygiene. Depending on your circumstances, she may recommend that you start wearing a custom night guard.

A night guard is a removable appliance that acts as a protective barrier between the upper and lower teeth. In other words, it cushions the impact of teeth grinding and clenching so you can enjoy an improved quality of sleep while safeguarding your smile.

7. Ask About Gum Disease Treatment

You can cure gingivitis (gum inflammation) by practicing good oral hygiene and seeing our dentist at least twice a year for preventive care. However, you can no longer reverse gum disease once it becomes periodontitis—a serious gum infection.

If you have advanced gum disease, it’s vital that you seek out the appropriate level of care from our skilled dentist. From there, Dr. Bandos will be able to determine if you’re a candidate for scaling and root planing.

Book an Appointment with Dr. Bandos

Dr. Katherine Bandos is proud to serve as your local dentist in Kalamazoo, MI, and would be more than happy to help you achieve your smile goals. To schedule an appointment, please call Kalamazoo Smiles at (269) 353-3700. You may also fill out our online contact form and someone from our team will reach out to you soon.

This blog post has been updated.

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