The holiday period can often leave us feeling overindulged. The pound’s pile on as we celebrate for days on end with rich food and plenty of booze, and it goes without saying that your teeth take a hammering as well. It’s no wonder January is a month of dieting, exercising and staying away from alcohol. So if you’re taking the ‘give your liver a break’ January challenge, you might want to think about helping your teeth recover from the festive period too.
Book An Appointment With Your Dentist
There are a lot of people out there who are reluctant to go to the dentist for a check up. Whether it’s just a niggling little fear or a full blown phobia, these feelings can stop you from getting your teeth checked out for years, even decades at a time. But this approach means that when you do eventually go to your dentist because your teeth are aching, you will need 10 years of dental work all in one go – most of which could have been easily prevented with regular dental check-ups. So this year, conquer your fear of the dentist’s chair. Start January by booking an appointment with your dentist to get your mouth checked out and make sure your teeth are in good condition. Your dentist will advise you if you need to take any precautions, such as switching your mouthwash to one designed to fight gum infection, or to start flossing. Once you have had this quick check-up, you shouldn’t need to come back to 6 months!
Stop Brushing Your Teeth So Hard!
For us busy adults, brushing our teeth quickly becomes a chore we could do without. Around the festive period, this is even more so – but this is also when it is the most important. Christmas and New Year mean lots of alcohol, sweets, chocolate and sugary foods, which can play havoc with your mouth. To make the chore of brushing our teeth go quicker, we often brush very hard, thinking it will get the same job done twice as fast. While that might sound logical, it’s not the best route when it comes to your teeth and gums, and could actually do you more damage than good. Using a toothbrush In a harsh or aggressive manner can lead to gum recession, increase your sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures and even damage the protective enamel on your teeth. So instead of going at it hammer and tongs, brush your teeth in light, gentle circles with the bristles of your toothbrush. If you have an electric toothbrush, learn how to use it properly and avoid damaging your teeth and gums.
Start Drinking More Water
This is a tricky one. Health guidelines preached by thousands of professionals tell us we should be drinking around 8 glasses of water a day – and for most people that’s a stretch. But drinking water is also good for your oral hygiene, and might give you a new way of looking at the hydration dilemma. Every time you have a meal, make sure you have a glass of water with it. Drinking water not only rinses your mouth out, but also dilutes and even neutralises some of the bacteria hanging around in your mouth. It can wash away the sugars clinging to your teeth and lower the risk of tooth decay. For an added bonus, make sure you have a glass of water after you drink red wine, coffee or tea. This will help wash away the tannins (chemicals that cause tooth staining) and prevent your coffee habit affecting your teeth – it’s a win all around!
And Finally… Change Your Toothbrush Regularly
A lot of people used to think that toothbrush manufacturers tell us to replace the heads of our toothbrushes regularly just so they could make more money. But we now know that this isn’t true at all. A brand new toothbrush has bristles with rounded ends, specifically designed by the factories to be gentle to your teeth. Over time these bristles will start to wear, filing down to jagged, sharp edges. These sharp edges act like knives on your enamel and gums, chipping away at them and actually causing you harm every time you brush your teeth. To avoid this, you should be changing your toothbrush every 6 weeks for a nice soft new one.
And that’s that. These 4 changes are the simplest things you can do to start your journey to healthier mouth and gums. New Years resolutions are notoriously difficult to keep, but these little steps are easy to include in your daily routine, and will help you get a little healthier along the way. From everyone at Dentist In Fleet, Happy New Year!