If you’re taking the opportunity this winter to improve your health and to keep the viruses at bay, please don’t forget about your teeth! Don’t let your COVID protection masks make you forget about caring for your teeth and smile;)
Oral health can affect overall health, so taking better care of your teeth and gums is important for more than reducing stains and bad breath.
This could just mean improving what you’re already doing every day to help prevent tooth decay, gum disease and other problems or talking to your dentist if you think you have an existing problem you want to fix.
Whatever you want to improve about your oral health or your smile, setting small, achievable goals can be the best way to succeed. Here are 10 winter dental tips you might want to remind yourself or check out in 2022.
1. Brush twice a day
Are you brushing your teeth twice a day? Sounds like an easy thing to remember, but nearly half of the western world admit they aren’t. The most important time for cleaning your teeth is at night before bed, when plaque has had all day to build up. To clean between meals during work hours, try flossing, which is more effective than standard toothbrushes and can get in-between your teeth as well. A study published in ‘The Journal of Clinical Dentistry’ found that people who flossed four times a week had less plaque build-up and better oral health than those who only did it once a week or not at all.
2. Replace your toothbrush
Nothing feels better than a new toothbrush, which is why it’s a good idea to invest in one at least twice a year. Keep in mind that your current brush might be harbouring any number of germs and bacteria, and should be replaced after every few months. The CDC suggests replacing your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if the bristles become splayed and frayed. Think about it: you touch hundreds of surfaces (which are loaded with germs) each day—it makes sense that your toothbrush would pick up some nasty stuff along the way. And if you are using an electric toothbrush be sure to replace the brush heads regularly too.
3. Floss every day
Flossing is as important as brushing for removing bacteria and food from between your teeth. If you don’t floss regularly, bacteria can build up between the teeth in plaque, leading to tooth decay and gum disease. Over time, plaque can harden into tartar or calculus, which can only be removed during dental cleans. Flossing gets rid of excess debris that can stay between your teeth and cause plaque build-up, which leads to cavities and gum disease. And even if you brush twice a day, without flossing your teeth aren’t getting as clean as they could be! Brush longer: Flossing regularly is key, but it doesn’t hurt to brush longer too—you should be spending at least two minutes brushing each time you brush.
4. Brush in between your teeth
Now that you have brushed and flossed you think you might be done and ready for bed? Not quite yet. Interproximal brushing is the secret to ensuring the hard to reach areas are indeed nice and clean. These special tuft ended skinny looking brushes sold at your dental practice or local pharmacy; can be positioned in between your teeth to remove plaque that is often unable to be reached with your toothbrush and floss. They can even be used for better plaque control behind your lower front teeth. And sometimes little finger held brushes or waterpiks may be advised for larger gaps in between your teeth instead of toothpicks. Airflow® Therapy Hygiene clean with us will show you with disclosing dye exactly where your brushing is not working. And these areas will then be gently cleaned with specialised powder leaving your mouth refreshingly free of plaque with revolutionary air polishing for greater comfort and results.
5. Cut down on sugar
The less sugar in your diet, especially soda and other sweetened drinks, means fewer cavities. Cutting down on sugary foods and drinks will also reduce your risk of diabetes and obesity. Consider starting with eliminating desserts and snacks with added sugars; then, transition toward making whole foods a large part of your diet—and make sure you’re brushing and flossing regularly! Learn more about the impact that sugary foods have on your oral health from our dental experts here . You’ll find strategies for avoiding unhealthy habits like smoking or drinking fizzies excessively. Be sure to ask your dentist about how you can achieve optimal oral health through great nutrition as well!
6. Drink more water
Making sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day is important for staying hydrated and for keeping dental problems at bay. Water helps to rinse leftover food and bacteria away from teeth, which can be especially vital if you suffer from a dry mouth and produce less saliva. Choosing tap water over bottled water is even better for your teeth, as most local water supplies in New Zealand have fluoride added at safe levels. Water fluoridation helps to protect teeth and lowers rates of tooth decay at all ages.
7. Quit smoking
Smoking not only causes staining and bad breath, but also diminishes your sense of taste and odour. If you’ve been a smoker for years, it can take time to relearn how to pick up on flavours. Additionally, quitting smoking might lead you to consuming more sugar, since some smokers find that they crave sweets. To help avoid damage from smoking AND treat tooth sensitivity, brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss every night before bed. Your dentist will recommend other treatment options if you have more severe sensitivity issues.
8. Fix your teeth
If you want your mouth to be healthy and look great, your teeth are not an area that should be overlooked. Be sure that you take proper care of your teeth by visiting your dentist regularly for routine hygiene cleanings, x-rays and dental exams. Set up a regular schedule for yourself so that you don’t forget about it. It’s also important to brush twice each day with a toothbrush that is gentle on gums but tough on plaque. Toothbrush technique needs to be modified to suit your teeth circumstances. Floss at least once a day as well, along with using toothpaste for sensitive teeth; these steps can help fight cavities and keep your smile looking fresh!
9. Enhance your smile
Think about how much time you actually spend looking at your teeth. It’s probably more than you’d think, right? Well, if your teeth aren’t as healthy and strong as they could be, that negative self-image can manifest in other ways—in your confidence or even in your eating habits. In fact, many of us have absolutely no idea what our mouth looks like until we look at it in a mirror. How often do you do that? Keep reading for 10 tips on how to keep your smile—and body—healthy.
10. Visit the dentist
Get a Dental Exam, then set a schedule for regular cleanings and exams. It’s always a good idea to make sure your teeth are in tiptop shape. If you wait until you have a dental emergency, it may be too late—don’t let that happen! Going to your dentist twice each year will help keep cavities at bay, which means less work for you down the road. Plus, if there are issues with your gums or teeth now, they can be addressed before they become more serious.