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Don’t Neglect Your Dentist this Year

Don’t Neglect Your Dentist this Year

Now that the festive season is well and truly behind us, and the New Year is in full swing, it’s time to start thinking about your smile. During the warmer months, when the sun finally comes out, people have the tendency to smile a lot more. And why wouldn’t they? There’s plenty to smile about when the weather is nice!

If you’re determined to make 2017 the year you get your smile in tip-top shape, these simple tips will put you on the road to success.

Adopt a good oral hygiene routine

This may seem like an obvious one, but after all of those late nights out celebrating, brushing your teeth at 2am isn’t always your biggest priority. Well, sadly, all of the sugar you consumed over the Christmas break will likely come back to bite you if you don’t get a good oral hygiene routine in place pronto!

Taking care of your teeth and gums is as simple as adopting good morning and bedtime habits. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is essential for removing bacterial plaque, and for keeping any plaque that develops throughout the day at bay. Using an appropriately-sized, soft-bristle toothbrush, either manual or electronic, gently brush your teeth at roughly a 45-degree angle toward the gum line each morning, and each night before you go to bed.

Flossing is another important step in maintaining your oral health. Flossing is as important or more important than brushing, because it prevents cavities between the teeth and gum disease. Plaque or biofilm (a film containing live bacteria) starts forming immediately after brushing or flossing. By flossing once every 24 hours, you interrupt the cycle that causes harm to the teeth and surrounding tissues. In addition, by brushing and flossing daily you’ll be setting the foundation for good oral health, while keeping your mouth healthy and your breath fresh.

Brushing Twice a Day:

Brushing twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed, is the cornerstone of good oral hygiene. This removes food particles, plaque, and bacteria that can build up on your teeth and lead to cavities and gum disease. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to gently remove plaque without damaging your enamel.

Essential Tips for Effective Brushing:

  • Don’t rush: Spend at least two minutes brushing each time.
  • Angle the brush: Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line.
  • Use circular motions: Gently move the brush in circular motions, covering all surfaces of your teeth.
  • Don’t forget your tongue: Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.

Using Mouthwash as a Supplement:

While brushing and flossing are the cornerstones of oral hygiene, mouthwash can be a valuable supplement. Choose a mouthwash that contains fluoride to help strengthen your enamel and prevent cavities.

Using Mouthwash Effectively:

  • Rinse with mouthwash after brushing and flossing for additional plaque control.
  • Don’t swallow mouthwash, as it could be harmful.
  • Follow the instructions on the mouthwash label for proper usage.

Flossing Daily:

While brushing is crucial, it can’t reach the tight spaces between your teeth. This is where flossing comes in. Flossing removes plaque and food particles that get stuck between your teeth, preventing cavities and gum disease.

Choose the Right Flossing Method:

  • String floss: Wrap an 18-inch piece of floss around your fingers and gently glide it between each tooth, using a C-shape motion.
  • Water flosser: Use a water flosser to remove food particles and debris using a pulsating stream of water.

Making Flossing a Habit:

  • Floss once a day, ideally before bed.
  • Carry floss with you for convenient on-the-go cleaning.
  • Experiment with different flavors and textures to make flossing more enjoyable.

Limiting Sugary Drinks and Snacks:

Sugar is a major culprit behind cavities. When bacteria in your mouth come into contact with sugar, they produce acids that erode tooth enamel, leading to cavities. To protect your teeth, limit your intake of sugary drinks and snacks.

Healthy Alternatives for a Sweet Tooth:

  • Choose fruit over candy or sugary treats.
  • Opt for water or tea which is not sweet instead of soda or juice.
  • Enjoy naturally sweet desserts like yogurt with berries.

Opt for healthier food and drinks

You know the old adage ‘you are what you eat’? Well, this may not always be the case, but your teeth and gums will certainly reflect what you eat. Some foods are renowned for their teeth staining properties, so it could be best to avoid foods like curry and berries, and beverages like red wine.

Foods and drink that have a high acidic content, or that are filled with sugar will also do your teeth harm, which means that refreshing can of Coca Cola, while delicious, is bad for your teeth. However, if you adopt a good oral hygiene routine you can still enjoy these foods, just remember – moderation is key!

1. Incorporate More Fruits and Vegetables:

Fruits and vegetables are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that protect your cells, boost your immune system, and promote overall health. Aim to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily, incorporating a variety of colors for a diverse nutritional intake. Start your mornings with a smile and a refreshing fruit salad, a medley of sweet berries, citrusy delights, and juicy melons. Pack convenient and healthy snacks like baby carrots, celery sticks, or apple slices dipped in hummus for an afternoon pick-me-up. Elevate your meals by adding chopped vegetables to your omelets, pasta sauces, and soups, or embrace the sweetness of fruits in smoothies, yogurt bowls, and even oatmeal.

2. Choose Whole Grains Over Refined Grains:

Whole grains, like brown rice, quinoa, and oats, are rich in fiber, which keeps you feeling full for longer and aids in digestion. They also provide complex carbohydrates that provide sustained energy throughout the day. Limit refined grains like white bread and pasta, as they are quickly digested and can lead to blood sugar spikes and crashes. Additionally, whole grains are lower in calories and sugar than refined grains, contributing to a balanced and nutritious diet. So, swap out your white bread and pasta for whole-grain options and unlock the power of these wholesome and delicious grains!

3. Lean Protein for Power and Repair:

Protein is the building block for strong muscles, bones, and skin. Choose lean protein sources like fish, poultry, beans, and lentils. Limit processed meats and red meat, as they can be high in saturated fat and cholesterol. They provide essential amino acids that your body needs to repair and rebuild tissues, ensuring optimal physical function. Additionally, lean protein helps you feel full and satisfied, curbing cravings and promoting balanced weight management. So, fuel your body with the power of lean protein and experience the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle!

4. Healthy Fats for Essential Functions:

Not all fats are created equal. Healthy fats, found in sources like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, are crucial for brain function, hormone regulation, and nutrient absorption. Limit unhealthy fats like saturated and trans fats, found in fried foods and processed snacks. Opt for avocado toast instead of buttered toast, snack on a handful of almonds instead of potato chips, and drizzle olive oil on your salad instead of creamy dressings. Remember, healthy fats are your body’s allies, not enemies. Embrace them for a well-functioning body and a focused mind!

5. Stay Hydrated with Water:

Water is vital for every bodily function, from regulating temperature to transporting nutrients. Aim to drink eight glasses of water daily. You can also stay hydrated with unsweetened tea, black coffee, and herbal infusions. Water is the lifeblood that nourishes every cell, ensuring optimal functioning. Staying hydrated with water is crucial for regulating body temperature, transporting nutrients, and carrying out vital metabolic processes. Aim to drink eight glasses of water daily, and adjust based on your activity level and climate. By prioritizing water intake, you invest in your overall well-being, promoting energy levels, clear skin, and a healthy digestive system. So, make water your go-to beverage and experience the refreshing benefits of optimal hydration!

6. Reduce Sugar Intake:

Added sugar is a major contributor to various health problems, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.  Be mindful of hidden sugars in processed foods and read labels carefully. While sugar might tempt your taste buds, its excessive consumption can have negative consequences. Limiting your sugar intake can significantly benefit your health, reducing your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Swap sugary drinks like soda and juice for water or unsweetened tea, and opt for naturally sweet fruits instead of processed treats. Be mindful of hidden sugars in packaged foods and read labels carefully. Remember, making smart choices about sugar intake paves the way for a healthier and more vibrant you!

7. Cook More at Home:

Cooking at home allows you to take control of your health and well-being. You choose the ingredients, portion sizes, and cooking methods, ensuring a balanced and nutritious diet. Experiment with different recipes and explore healthy cooking techniques like grilling, baking, and steaming. Explore culinary adventures, experiment with different flavors, and discover the joy of creating delicious and healthy meals. From quick weeknight dinners to weekend feasts, cooking at home is a rewarding experience that nourishes your body, mind, and soul. So, swap takeout for home-cooked meals and embark on a delicious journey towards a healthier and happier you!

8. Read Food Labels:

Understanding food labels is crucial for making informed decisions. Pay attention to serving sizes, calories, and nutrient content, especially focusing on fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Food labels are the key to understanding what’s in your food. By taking a few minutes to read labels, you can make informed decisions about what you put into your body.  Watch out for hidden sugars and unhealthy fats listed under various names. This knowledge empowers you to choose foods that align with your health goals and promote optimal well-being. So, unlock the secrets of food labels and take control of your health, one delicious bite at a time!

9. Plan Your Meals:

Planning your meals and snacks can help you avoid unhealthy temptations and ensure you have healthy options readily available. Planning your meals is a powerful tool for achieving your health and fitness goals. It allows you to make informed choices, avoid unhealthy temptations, and ensure you have nutritious options readily available. Dedicate a time each week to plan your meals and snacks, considering your dietary needs and preferences. This simple practice sets you on the path toward a healthier lifestyle, one delicious and satisfying meal at a time!

10. Make Small Changes Gradually:

Trying to change your diet overnight can be overwhelming and lead to setbacks. Start by making small, gradual changes that you can stick with long-term. Remember, sustainable change is a journey, not a destination. Instead of overwhelming yourself with drastic transformations, embrace small, gradual changes that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine. Start by making one or two adjustments at a time and focus on building healthy habits that you can stick with long-term. Celebrate your progress, big and small, and know that every step you take leads you closer to a healthier and happier you!

Regularly Visit Your Dentist

Whether your teeth could use professional whitening after a little too much red wine over Christmas, or if all those mince pies have made you need a filling, you can go for a dental check up at your dentist. We’ll get your teeth looking like new in no time! Even if you’re not in need of cosmetic, or emergency dental services, regular dental visits are an important part of keeping your smile bright and healthy.

Even with a dedicated home care routine, professional dental cleaning and examinations are essential for maintaining optimal oral health. Your dentist can identify and address any issues early on, preventing serious problems down the line.

Benefits of Regular Dental Checkups:

  • Professional cleaning removes plaque and calculus that you cannot reach with brushing and flossing.
  • Early detection and treatment of cavities and gum disease.
  • Advice and guidance on maintaining good oral hygiene at home.

Additional Tips for Optimal Oral Hygiene:

  • Brush your tongue twice a day to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles become frayed.
  • Quit smoking to significantly improve your oral health and reduce the risk of gum disease.
  • Maintain a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients for healthy teeth and gums.
  • Address any specific oral health concerns with your dentist, such as sensitivity, bad breath, or bleeding gums.

Balmain Dentist can assist you with questions related to cosmetic dentistry.