5 New Year's Resolutions To Improve Your Oral Hygiene
5 New Year's Resolutions to Improve Your Oral Hygiene
The new year will be here before you know it! Do you have a New Year's resolution ready? If not, our Grand Rapids MI dentist has five resolutions to help improve your oral hygiene in the upcoming year. By improving your oral hygiene, you'll be able to maintain healthy teeth and gums. You'll also experience more confidence as you go about your day.
Here's how to get started.
1. Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day
We understand that life can be hectic. You may not always have a lot of time between the moment you wake up and when you have to be out the door. However, it's important that you take some time for yourself every day to thoroughly brush your teeth.
Your toothbrush is your best defense against cavities and gum disease. For this reason, our Grand Rapids dentist recommends that you brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time. This makes it easy to remove plaque before it has the opportunity to harden into tartar. Your teeth will also feel smoother and may even look whiter by reducing plaque buildup.
2. Floss Once a Day
Plaque loves to hide where toothbrush bristles can't reach. For this reason, it's vital that you floss your teeth once a day. When you floss your teeth doesn't matter, so feel free to customize your oral hygiene routine to fit your schedule. For example, a lot of people have more free time in the evening, so they may choose to floss their teeth at night before going to bed. Each person is different.
3. Use a Fluoride Mouth Rinse
Fluoride strengthens your enamel so it's resistant to acid attacks from plaque. This decreases your risk of cavities so you can avoid toothaches and continue to smile with confidence. If we're still finding a lot of plaque and tartar at your routine checkups, we may recommend adding a fluoride mouth rinse to your routine.
Be sure to read the instructions on the product label before use. While some mouth rinses are meant to be used once a day, others are intended to be used twice a day. By following the instructions, you'll be able to give your teeth every opportunity to remain healthy.
Related: Should I Get a Fluoride Treatment at the Dentist? ?
4. Schedule Routine Teeth Cleanings
In general, we recommend that our patients schedule a routine teeth cleaning every six months. However, Dr. Nichols may recommend more frequent dental cleanings if you have a chronic condition, such as periodontitis.
During your teeth cleaning, we'll be able to remove plaque and tartar buildup. While you can remove plaque at home by brushing and flossing, only a skilled dental professional will be able to remove tartar buildup.
Your routine teeth cleaning visit also gives us the chance to take X-rays as needed. That way, our dentist will be able to see any problems not visible to the naked eye, such as cavities hiding between teeth.
5. Reduce Sugary Foods in Your Diet
The bacteria that live inside your mouth love sugar. In turn, they produce an acid that erodes the enamel from your teeth. This acid can also attack your gums and increase your risk of gingivitis.
While you can't see plaque buildup, you may be able to feel it on your teeth after eating sugary foods. Plaque buildup can make your teeth feel rough or "fuzzy." The good news is that brushing and flossing will help remove plaque so you can maintain a healthy smile between visits to our office. Reducing how much sugar you consume will also help.
Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Nichols
Dr. Michael Nichols is an experienced dentist in Grand Rapids, MI. He's also accepting new patients and would be more than happy to help you maintain a healthy smile during the new year and beyond. To schedule your next appointment, please call Nichols Family Dentistry at (616) 333-8496. You may also fill out our online contact form and someone from our team will reach out to you soon.