Now that Halloween is over, it’s time to get back into your normal dental hygiene routine. (Hint: It doesn’t include eating candy non-stop.) Come on. We’ll even help you out with a few easy tips to follow.
1. Save your sweets for nighttime. If you have a mountain of sweets on your counter that just won’t stop calling your name, it’s OK to answer. But when you answer will determine the depth of your dental health plunge. Sugary foods attack your teeth 20 minutes after you eat them, so save your sweets indulgence for nighttime, so you can wash your attackers away with your nightly brushing.
2. Chew on some sugarless gum instead. Those afternoon hours can be tough. Your stomach was content with lunch, but now it wants dinner. But instead of grabbing some candy, how about chewing on a piece of sugarless gum? Sugarless gum increases the amount of saliva in your mouth, giving you a natural mouthwash. Picking sugarless gum as an alternative to snacking also allows the acidic level in your mouth to drop, decreasing the formation of cavities.
3. Not a gum fan? How about some fruit? If gum just won’t kill the craving for an afternoon snack, you can eat a piece of fruit to hold you off during those last few hours of dental hygiene diligence. You’ll thank yourself later. The crisp texture on fruits like apples and pears cleans your teeth while you eat. Also, while you chew, your mouth produces more bacteria fighting saliva.
Tips 4-6 will keep you smiling all year long.
4. What you drink matters. Having a healthy diet is a large component of dental health. However, if you’re drinking sugary sodas along with your health food, you’re still putting your teeth in harm’s way. If you must drink a soda, consider drinking through a straw and if that’s not your style, make sure to drink the soda, rather than sipping on it.
5. Visit your dentist twice a year. Even if you’re cleaning every day, it’s still important to keep your biannual checkups and cleanings up-to-date. Biannual cleanings help get rid of the plaque and build up that daily flossing and brushing can’t quite get. Regular visits to your dentist also increase your chances of diagnosing a more serious issue like oral cancer or periodontal disease before it’s too late.
6. Prepare for the financial burden of dental care. Now more than ever, it’s important to prepare your bank account for regular dental health care as well as the unexpected issues that arise throughout the year. The last thing you want to worry about when you have a throbbing tooth is whether or not you can afford to the necessary dental health care.