Any time of year can be the right time to begin taking better care of your smile.
Many see the New Year as the best time to make a resolution to practice better dental hygiene—starting with regular dental visits.
While routine dental visits are something many people dread, practicing good oral hygiene throughout the year may change the way you feel about your smile, improve your overall health and boost your self-confidence. Routine visits to the dentist help ensure your dentist is catching and fixing any small dental issues before they become big issues.
To help, here are a few key tips from Dr. Nathan Laughrey, D.M.D., of Aspen Dental. Dr.Laughrey has been treating patients for more than 15 years and believes that by incorporating his advice into your daily, monthly and yearly oral health routine, you can improve your overall health.
• Brushing your teeth at least twice a day WILL help with dental decay. Brush your teeth and gums twice a day for at least two to three minutes. Put your timer on and don’t forget to floss twice a day to remove food particles and prevent plaque buildup between your teeth.
• Choosing and using the proper equipment makes a difference. Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush that fits your mouth comfortably. Consider using an electric or battery-operated toothbrush, which can help reduce plaque and a mild form of gum disease.
• Toss your toothbrush and get a new one regularly. Buy a new toothbrush, or a replacement head for your electric or battery-operated toothbrush, every three to four months. When your bristles are frayed, they do not clean properly and bacteria can harbor in the bristles.
• Don’t delay going to the dentist, even if you dread it. It pays to visit the dentist twice a year for an annual checkup and more often if you have high risk factors for periodontal disease. That’s because you will save money in the long run with routine visits and your visits will likely be less eventful.
• Even if you wear dentures, visiting the dentist is important. Visiting the dentist is not just for teeth cleaning. Dentists also screen for oral cancer and help with many other issues. Preventive visits are key for everyone.