5 Tips To End Your Year With A Healthier Smile!

1. Revisit your flossing routine

Flossing once a day is rather important to your oral health. A toothbrush will only reach, a maximum of 60% of your teeth’s surfaces, and flossing is the only way to remove plaque and food particles from the other 40% of your teeth. Flossing only provides a benefit to your oral health when done correctly. Try your best to use a C-shape when flossing and be sure you are going far enough under the gums. On the contrary, those who floss too hard run the risk of damaging their gums, resulting in additional oral health issues down the road. Be sure to ask your hygienist for tips at your next appointment and take the time to learn how to floss properly.

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2. Consider switching to an electric toothbrush

An electric toothbrush is often considered more effective than a standard toothbrush when used correctly. With an electric toothbrush, users do not have to brush back and forth, they only must guide the brush while the vibrations do the work. Especially if you tend to see more plaque and calcium buildup in your mouth, an electric toothbrush can be more effective in removing these particles daily. Many electric toothbrushes also have a built-in 2- minute timer to help keep you accountable!

It’s important to note that brushing too hard—whether with an electric or traditional toothbrush—can damage your gums. Be careful when brushing to always use a 45-degree angle towards the gum line and brush softly to avoid damaging your gums and wearing away the enamel.

3. Don’t forget the tongue!

Your tongue has millions of bacteria living on it and can contribute to plaque buildup resulting in cavities. It also contains taste buds and folds, which can harbor buildup and residue leading to bad breath. When you brush, be sure to gently brush your tongue as well in order to remove bacteria.

4. Cut back on sugar

Sugar is directly related to tooth decay. By cutting back on your sugar intake, you can decrease your risk of developing cavities. Limiting those delicious sweets can be difficult, so I recommend trying some substitutions such as sugar-free seltzer water instead of soda or chewing sugar-free gum when a craving arises. Sugar-free gum can help wash away food particles and harmful bacteria until you’re able to brush your teeth.

For those special occasions when you need a sweet treat, stay away from hard candy or sticky gummies, as they stay on the teeth for longer and mix with the plaque on your teeth to turn into harmful acid that breaks away enamel. You can also choose chocolates instead since they melt away quickly and don’t stay in the mouth for as long.

5. Schedule your next appointment soon

If it’s been over 6 months since your last appointment, be sure to schedule a dental cleaning and exam soon. If you’re experiencing sensitivity or pain, or have an area of concern in the mouth, it’s best not to wait. The longer we wait to address any dental issues, the more painful that issue becomes. Don’t let your oral health fall by the wayside!