Happy New Year! What are your resolutions for 2017? If you haven’t made a decision yet, or if you have room for one more on your list, your dentist in Carlisle has an idea. Recommit to your dental health! Visiting the dentist twice this year, brushing and flossing every single day, and other positive habits will keep you smiling bright in 2017, and for many years ahead.
Without further delay, here are our ideas for your healthier smile this new year.
#1: Brush Like You Mean It
Many adults could use a brush-up on their toothbrushing tactics. But when we say brush like you mean it, that’s not us saying to just brush harder. Aggressive brushing damages your sensitive gum tissue and can cause them to recede, or pull away from where they should be against the teeth. Examining how you brush can help you do a better, more thorough job.
Some good brushing habits to remember include…
- Brush each quadrant of your mouth for 30 seconds each (2 minutes total)
- Move across your teeth in gentle circular motions
- Brush your tongue, too
- Use fluoridated toothpaste for the most effective cleaning
- Brush after every meal or at least two times each day
#2: And Don’t Forget to Floss
Don’t listen to those stories from earlier last year that told you flossing wasn’t all that important. Actually, it’s one of the most crucial aspects of good dental hygiene. Dental floss is the only way to remove the plaque, bacteria, and leftover food particles your toothbrush can’t reach no matter how well you brush.
To effectively floss, wrap about 18 inches of dental floss around each of your middle fingers. Leave a one-inch space to work with in between. Gently work the dental floss up and down between each tooth, avoiding the rapid movements that may damage the gums.
#3: Use a Mouthwash
It’s not a bad idea to use a mouthwash for additional cleaning, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a good substitute for brushing and flossing. It’s not. Think of mouthwash as a good supplement to your solid dental hygiene regimen.
Mouthwashes come in a variety of formulas, from ones that just taste good and make your breath feel a little fresher to the antiseptic ones that actually kill bacteria (the kind that burns at least a little bit). Choose a germ-killing antiseptic rinse for the best results.
#4: Break Destructive Habits
Maybe your nervous nail chewing or bored pen biting seems like a harmless little habit, but you’re putting your tooth enamel at considerable risk anytime you bite down on a hard foreign object. Take note of when you’re likely to mindlessly bite and try replacing the habit for a different one, like popping a piece of sugar-free gum in your mouth instead.
Some other harmful habits include…
- Using your teeth to open packages
- Chewing on ice
- Biting on pens
- Playing contact sports without a custom-fitted mouthguard
#5: Schedule an Appointment at Flenniken Family Dentistry!
Last but not least, resolve to schedule (and attend) two checkups and cleanings with your Carlisle dentist in 2017. Doing so will help you steer clear of cavities and infection in the new year and beyond. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!