What resolutions have you made for 2022? If you’ve resolved to exercise more or change your diet, or to take on a new hobby, then why not think about your smile too? You may be surprised to find out that a few simple changes to your routine could keep teeth strong and bright, and protect your gums from disease and tooth loss. In today’s blog, your Dallas, TX, dentist talks about resolutions to consider to help you and your family maintain your best and brightest smiles!

Taking Time to Really Brush

How often do you brush, and more importantly, how long do you take to do so? Each person, whether they’re 4 or 40, needs to brush for two minutes in the morning and then again at night. You can time yourself with a fun song or app, or even a sand timer. This ensures you’re properly cleaning the surfaces to remove trapped food particles and control plaque buildup. The toothpaste you choose is important too. Instead of a whitening one that could contain abrasive agents that weaken enamel, opt for one that contains fluoride and the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance on the label.

For toothbrushes, be sure you choose one with soft bristles to prevent inadvertent damage to enamel if you brush too hard. You can opt for electric or manual, just as long as you take time to clean your teeth properly. Try to look for products with the Seal of Acceptance we mentioned earlier on the packaging. Or you can talk to us! We have Sonicare toothbrushes for kids and adults, along with tongue scrapers and at-home whitening that is safe for your smile. 

Floss (Seriously, You NEED to Floss)

We often see patients of all ages who brush regally, but still develop cavities and gingivitis. They’re often confused, as they take time to clean their teeth in the morning and at night. While brushing is crucial, flossing is just as important. Sometimes, food particles become trapped between the teeth and along the gum line, beyond the reach of your toothbrush. By taking a length of floss and cleaning up and down each side of every tooth, you could extract these particles, reducing the risk of plaque buildup, cavities, bad breath, teeth stains, and even gingivitis and gum disease. For kids or those with limited dexterity, floss picks are effective. For everyone else, we recommend floss tape or a water flosser. When you visit our office, we can instruct you on proper flossing. 

Watching What You Eat and Drink

People often resolve to eat healthier during this time of year because they want to lose weight, get in shape, or protect their heart health. But a healthier diet is also good for your smile! When we cut back on items high in sugar and starch, this reduces the severity of plaque and tartar buildup, so your smile stays brighter and healthier throughout the year. Drinks that contain few sugars and acids, or staining pigments, could be avoided too. This includes sodas, energy drinks, and sports drinks. Try to choose items high in vitamin C, which strengthens the teeth. While we’re talking about resolutions to improve oral health (and overall health), we urge you to avoid tobacco products, which not only stain teeth but also increase the risk of periodontitis, the severe state of gum disease linked to tooth loss.

Making Time for Checkups and Cleanings 

We want to see our patients ages two and older once every six months. Oral health problems often take weeks and months to develop, these appointments allow our team to see you regularly and catch them in the earliest stages, so we can offer solutions to prevent worsening oral health. A checkup is a thorough dental exam we perform with advanced digital imaging, so we can make a diagnosis quickly and comfortably, and with better accuracy and precision. In the same visit, we also take time to clean your teeth as well. A dental cleaning means we use an ultrasonic scaling device and a manual tool to thoroughly remove all plaque and tartar from the surface of the teeth. Doing so helps reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, and also fights bad breath and teeth stains. If you have wanting signs of periodontal issues, we could perform a more involved cleaning to remove buildup from both the teeth and roots, known as a scaling and root planing. Be sure to contact us soon to schedule your first visit of 2022. If you have dental insurance we can help you understand your benefits and file for you, and if not, we can discuss financing options.

Don’t Ignore Symptoms 

We would also like you to resolve to see us when you notice changes to your smile! Putting off a visit due to a minor toothache or bleeding gums means that by the time you finally see us, what could have been quickly addressed with a filling or cleaning now requires more intensive treatments, and you could risk the stability of your smile too! When you notice persistent pain or sensitivity, or changes to your teeth and gums, let us know right away so we can take action to protect the health, beauty, and function of your smile. If you’re worried about COVID-19, then rest assured that we’re still following our strict health and safety protocols, just as we did through 2020 and 2021. If you have any questions about our treatments or office policies, then give us a call today to learn more!

Your Dallas, TX, Dentist Wants to Improve Your Family’s Smiles

We would love to help you start your new year on the right foot with improved oral health. For more information on our approach to comprehensive dentistry, then please schedule a consultation by calling the Viva Dental Family Dentistry office nearest you at (214) 337-7800 (Dallas) or (972) 437-6000 (Richardson). A resolution to improve your oral health, both at home and in our office, could mean better health and quality of life!