Good Dental Habits To Embrace

Some theorists suggest it takes 21 days of consistent repetition to build a custom, while others say it can take up to 66 days. While it’s best to acquire good oral hygiene habits while you’re young, it’s something you can pick up at any age. Good dental practices improve your health and ensure your teeth will stay healthy in your later years. Taking care of your teeth also keeps your breath fresh and your smile beautiful, which attracts people to you, both at work and at play.

The first step of good hygiene is to brush your teeth twice a day using a soft-bristled brush and a good toothpaste. The type of toothpaste you choose depends on your taste. Some people like sweet-tasting gels while others prefer sharp brands with chloride and fluoride supplements. It might help to ask your dentist what he or she recommends. They know the state of your teeth, so they can probably suggest a type that will work well for you.

Another useful dental habit is to floss every time you brush. It’s best to floss before you brush because this allows the added minerals in your toothpaste to act on the spaces between your teeth and gums. It’s especially helpful for fluoride. Learn the correct way to brush and floss, so that you don’t hurt yourself or draw blood.

Two times a year, see your dentist for a professional cleaning, even if there’s ‘nothing wrong’ with your teeth. The cleaning will get rid of plaque and tartar build-up, especially in the spaces between your gums and your teeth. These areas can’t always be reached by brushing or flossing. It also lets your dentists spot potential tooth problems in good time.

Eating healthy is an important part of dental hygiene. We are all drawn to the lure of sweet foods, crunchy snacks, and fried delicacies. Whenever possible, train yourself to opt for the ‘greener’ versions of these treats. Fruits instead of candy, celery and carrots for crisps, stir-fries rather than chips or deep fries.

If you’re a smoker, you could consider quitting tobacco. It stains your teeth, spoils your breath, wrinkles your skin, and leaves you at risk for oral cancer, throat cancer, lung cancer and other diseases. Nicotine thins your blood and increases your healing time after dental procedures.  Chewing or sniffing tobacco affects your dental health as well. When you smoke, tartar and plaque build up faster, because the smoke and chemicals coat your teeth and make your mouth more sticky. Smoking also makes some dental procedures more challenging to perform. These procedures include extractions and dental implants.

Senior citizens have hopefully spent their whole lives taking care of their teeth. The better your oral care when you’re younger, the longer you can go without dentures and oral health problems. In case the years have reduced your oral hygiene, it’s never too late to adjust.

Start by setting reminders to keep up with your dental appointments. You can set alarms on your phone calendar, or ask your kids, grand kids, or carers to help you remember. This helps because they might have to drive you to that appointment, so reminding you makes sure they don’t forget either. In earlier years, you can get away with seeing the dentist every six months, but if possible, update that to every three months. Having the dentist check you out every quarter will help them identify a potential issue and resolve it before it gets out of hand. It may also inadvertently help them preemptively discover non-dental issues during your visits. As you get older, you’re more susceptible to oral health problems. If you’ve been a twice-a-day brusher all your life, step it up a bit and brush after every meal. Floss each time you brush, as this reduces your chances of contracting gum disease. It’s on the rise among senior patients, with some studies suggesting nearly 20% of people over 65 have periodontists.

One of the most critical dental habits, no matter how young or old you are, is to know when to ask for help. When you feel any unease, discomfort, or strange oral smells that don’t go away when you brush, see a dentist. Don’t wait until the pain is too intense and your teeth are falling out. See the dentist early to diagnose and repair the damage before it’s too late.


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