Millions of Americans make New Year’s resolutions every year, mostly focusing on improving their health and wellness. While a lot of these resolutions focus on losing weight or eating better, making a commitment to your oral health is also important.
At Novi Family Dentistry in Novi, Michigan, Abir Faraj, DDS, and her team are always focused on improving their patients’ oral health. Here are nine simple tips that can help you improve your oral health this year and for years to come.
Smoking affects your oral health in several ways. Not only does it cause tooth stains and make your breath smell, but it can also reduce the amount of saliva you produce, increasing your risk of developing cavities. It’s also a major cause of gum disease — which is a leading cause of adult tooth loss — and it’s also a big risk factor for oral cancer.
Brushing in the morning and before bed can help get rid of food particles and sticky plaque that can cause cavities, gum disease, and tooth discoloration. Use a soft-bristled brush and replace it frequently, choose a toothpaste with fluoride, and double-check your brushing technique to make sure you’re doing it right.
Flossing might seem like a bother, but it really does provide major benefits for your teeth and gums, especially when you use the right technique. If you have problems reaching your teeth, use a flosser for better control. And although you might think brushing first is better, research shows you might get more benefits by flossing before you brush.
Rinsing with mouthwash helps remove food particles lodged between your teeth, and it also destroys harmful bacteria. Some rinses contain fluoride, too. Plus, you can rinse with mouthwash after eating to keep odors at bay. Ask Dr. Faraj for product recommendations based on your needs.
Most people know sugary snacks are no-nos when it comes to oral health. But sticky snack foods are bad, too, since they can leave particles stuck along your gums and between your teeth. For snacks, try calcium-rich foods, such as cheese or yogurt, to help keep your enamel in good shape.
While it may be tempting to ignore what you might think of as a “minor” issue, such as a sore gum or a tiny crack, doing so could lead to a more serious problem and a more extensive treatment. Always seek care at the first sign of a problem, so the issue can be treated early.
Teeth grinding is a common habit, and at first, it might seem harmless. But grinding exposes your teeth to an alarmingly high amount of pressure, which can quickly lead to worn tooth enamel, tooth cracks, receding gums, and more. If you have a nighttime grinding habit, Dr. Faraj can fit you for a custom mouthguard to protect your teeth.
Your mouth is a moist environment, so it’s no surprise that drinking water can help support a healthy mouth. Drinking water also helps you produce saliva and reduces your risk of developing chronic dry mouth, which is a relatively common problem that can lead to other oral health issues.
Twice-yearly dental checkups are an essential part of good oral care. During your checkup, the hygienist carefully cleans your teeth, getting rid of sticky plaque and hard tartar that can cause gum disease and other issues. Checkups also give Dr. Faraj a chance to look for early signs of oral health problems, such as decay, infection, or cancer.
Making your oral health a priority is one New Year’s resolution that can benefit you for years to come. To schedule a checkup or learn what else you can do to keep your teeth and gums healthy, call 313-646-7903 or book an appointment online with Novi Family Dentistry today.