January 26, 2018
The beginning of the year is a time when lots of us take stock, evaluate our habits, and resolve to make changes for the better. Maybe you’ve joined a gym, started a new diet, or decided to cook more meals from scratch. Or perhaps you’re a new year’s resolution cynic. Regardless, we urge you to adopt a few behaviors that will keep your smile in good shape. Take excellent care of your teeth and gums, and they will serve you well for the rest of your life.
Read on to learn about five habits that will give you the best chance for a healthy smile in 2018 and beyond. And book your next checkup at Davenport Dental Group of Laredo, TX. For our Junction Drive office dial 956-242-6745 and for Winfield call 956-517-2695.
Come See Us Every Six Months
You take good care of your mouth at home. You’re not having any issues with your teeth and gums as far as you can tell. Anyway, you’re busy. It’s okay to skip the dentist this one time, right?
Your smile may seem to be perfectly healthy, but if you don’t visit us on a regular schedule of twice per year it probably won’t stay that way. Let’s take a look at what actually happens at a dental checkup and why it is so important.
- One of our skilled yet gentle hygienists will give you a professional cleaning. This is much more thorough than what you are able to accomplish at home. We have special tools and the expertise to remove built-up tartar and plaque from hard-to-reach places, including under the gumline.
- One of our doctors will visually examine your entire mouth, looking for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, and other problems.
- We may take digital X-rays of your mouth. This enables us to see hidden issues, like cavities between the teeth, abscesses, tumors, cysts, and impacted teeth. Digital X-rays expose you to less radiation than conventional X-rays.
- We also offer a few optional preventive services you may want to consider for yourself or your kids: sealants, fluoride treatments, and athletic mouthguards.
Be a Stickler for Oral Hygiene at Home
Doing things right at home is just as important as regular dental visits. Let’s take a look at what good oral hygiene practices look like.
- You should brush your teeth twice per day, every day, for two minutes. We get that mornings are rushed and you may be tired at night. But don’t let this fall through the cracks.
- When you brush, reach all surfaces of the teeth, including the backs. Also brush the tongue to remove harmful bacteria lingering there.
- Brush thoroughly, but gently. Excessive pressure will wear down your teeth, leading to sensitivity and decay. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Floss daily to remove food particles, plus bacteria and plaque clinging to the tooth enamel.
Get out of the habit of reaching for sugary soft drinks, juice, or sports drinks. Even diet soft drinks aren’t off the hook — their high acid content will damage teeth. If you’re thirsty, drink water. Sipping water throughout the day helps rinse away food particles and bacteria, dilute acids, and keep your mouth clean. Most tap water has the added benefit of being fortified with enamel-strengthening fluoride.
All dairy products are loaded with calcium and phosphorus, minerals that are essential for keeping your teeth strong and healthy. They also contain caseins, proteins that may create a film on your enamel that protects teeth from decay.
But at least one study has shown cheese to have benefits apart from other dairy products. Eating cheese, it seems, raises the pH levels in the mouth. This is important because a higher pH creates a less hospitable environment for the bacteria that create enamel-destroying acids. This may be because the act of chewing cheese increases saliva production in the mouth. So to help protect your teeth from cavities, chow down on cheese.
Chew Sugarless Gum
Craving a snack? Pop a stick of sugarless gum in your mouth instead. Chewing gum can help curb cravings, plus it actually benefits your teeth and gums by stimulating saliva flow. This helps rinse away bits of food and the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. One caveat: these benefits apply only to sugarless gum. The sugar in other gums will negate any positive effects.
If your next appointment with Davenport Dental Group isn’t in the books, call the Laredo, TX-area office that is most convenient for you. You may reach Junction Drive at 956-242-6745 or Winfield at 956-517-2695. Or request an appointment through our online form.