We are already almost a month into the new year and the new decade. Many people will have been working hard to stick to their new year’s resolutions, many of them focused on health and lifestyle. Things like exercising more, eating better and losing weight now tend to dominate the top of the list when it comes to new year’s resolutions, which is great news. However, there is one key area of health that people may be completely overlooking – their teeth. Despite the new year already fading into the past, it’s not too late to make a change to your habits now and make your teeth a top priority for 2020. Here are five things you should think about and why they matter.
Dental professionals recommend that we brush our teeth twice daily for at least two minutes in order to see the maximum benefit. This may not sound like a lot of effort, but when we try to balance work, family and other demands on our time it is all too easy to neglect the simple things. Other lifestyle factors such as computer gaming can also cause us to neglect the habit – a problem that is particularly significant in teenagers.
Make a commitment to yourself to ensure that you always brush twice a day in 202o, no matter how hard it is to find the time. This will help to prevent damage to your teeth by removing food particles and plaque, reducing the risk of cavities. Research has shown that flossing once a day can help to remove particles of food from harder to access areas between teeth, making your oral hygiene routine even more effective. If you have children, we would also encourage you to develop a routine that ensures they too adopt the same good habits.
Brushing twice a day also promotes awareness of what is happening in your mouth and any changes that take place. This allows you to follow up with your dentist if necessary.
Another effective way to help counteract the effects of what you eat and drink is to use mouthwash regularly. Be aware, however, that if used at the wrong time it can actually undermine the benefits of brushing.
Avoid using a mouthwash directly after brushing your teeth. It can wash away a lot of the benefits offered by the fluoride and other active ingredients in the toothpaste – once again leaving your teeth exposed to attack. Instead, it is recommended to rinse at a different time to brushing, or wait until at least 30 minutes afterwards. Rinse right, and you’ll be doing your teeth a favour.
The same is true for children – to get the maximum protective benefit from their toothpaste, discourage them from rinsing with water after brushing.
Do you remember the last time you saw the dentist? If keeping your routine checkups up to date was not one of your strong points in 2019, now is the perfect time to change that. It is generally recommended to visit your dentist for a routine checkup every six months. If you think you may be overdue, get in touch with your dentist who will be happy to check your records.
A professional dental checkup is about far more than simply making sure all your teeth are present and correct – as well as making sure that your teeth are sound and everything is in order with your oral hygiene, your dentist is also trained to look for early signs of gum disease and oral cancer during your examination. Early detection of the latter has been proven to significantly increase the likelihood of successful treatment. So, if you don’t already have an appointment in your diary for 2020, be sure to book one now.
Love them or not, some foods just aren’t good for your teeth. Even if you have a balanced, low sugar diet, everyday foods and snacks that we consume all year round can wreak havoc on our teeth. Sticky, sugary sweets are an obvious example but did you know that savoury foods and snacks can also be a threat to your oral hygiene? Crisps and other potato snacks, for example, can leave large amounts of residue on the teeth which can quickly promote acid build-up. Bread can also have the same effect.
If you are on a mission to get fit in the new year, it is worth noting that sports drinks are notorious for their high sugar content which can be dangerous for the teeth. Tea, coffee and red wine, if excessively consumed, can also result in staining. The key to enjoying your favourite foods and drinks all year round is knowing their effects and how you can minimise them. You can usually do this by consuming them in moderation and of course maintaining a good oral hygiene regime.
If you don’t already have dental care cover, now is an ideal time to look at your options for 2020. You may well be pleasantly surprised to learn just how little it can cost for you and your family to become members here at Stella Maris Dental.
Our membership packages are an affordable way for you to spread the costs of your routine dental health needs (dental examination, hygiene visits and dental x-rays as required) and start from as little as £19.00 per month, helping to ensure you can attend as regularly as you need to in a cost-effective way.
We are pleased to offer health based membership which means that membership is prescribed to you based on your individual clinical needs. This gives you complete peace of mind that you’ll always get the care you need, when you need it.
Benefits of choosing membership:
Here at Stella Maris Dental we want to help you enjoy the very best in dental health in 2020. To enquire about becoming a member or to discuss your dental needs in more detail, call today on 0121 588 4541 to speak to a member of our friendly team.