We love working with all our patients in the Great Neck and Briarwood area, and we especially love helping them get smiles they are excited to show off. Part of that comes from the choices they make at home between visits. If you’re looking for ways to protect your teeth on your own, we have some tips. If you have additional questions or concerns, be sure to bring them up during your next general exam or specialty appointment!
Maintain Your Oral Health on Your Own
We can’t stress enough the importance of brushing and flossing at least twice a day. Doing so removes the remnants of food and drinks from the day’s activities. This is equally important if you are frequently on the go. Consider tossing a toothbrush, paste, and floss into your travel bag or purse so you’ll always have the opportunity to brush if needed.
A recent survey found that “nearly one-third of millennials brush their teeth just once a day.” If you struggle to remember to brush until you’re already laying in bed, consider setting an alarm to remind you to head to the sink. There are a variety of tools and tech out there to help you time your brushing, too. Start a stopwatch on your phone or listen to a song while you brush. That can help you do a thorough cleaning and keep track of how long you’ve been brushing. If you’re still having trouble completing a regular oral health routine, think about the big picture. What example are you setting for your kids or grandkids? Let that be your motivation.
Stop Smoking and Chewing Tobacco
Smoking and chewing tobacco are bad habits for a variety of reasons. In addition to impacting your lungs and heart, smoking can lead to yellowed and damaged teeth. Likewise, chewing tobacco can cause serious mouth problems — including oral cancer. If you use tobacco products and are having trouble quitting, consider reaching out to a support line for help. While cutting nicotine is extremely challenging, your body, including your mouth, will thank you.
Cut Back on “Bad” Foods and Drinks
What do coffee, hard candy, and wine have in common? They can all impact your smile! Foods and drinks that are high in sugar or acid can gradually weaken your teeth, causing cavities. Dark liquids, including tea and soda, can stain your smile, leaving it yellowed. To avoid these issues, consider cutting back on how often you consume them. Making even small changes can have a serious impact. When you do enjoy these items, take a few minutes to rinse out your mouth after. Drinking from a straw and sipping water between drinks can also help the situation.
Make Your Appointments Timely
We suggest that you have two general dental exams each year. If you have dental insurance, these will likely be covered as preventative care. By taking the time to get ahead of concerns, like cavities, sensitivity, and discoloration, you can prevent more extreme situations down the line. During your appointment, we’ll do a thorough cleaning and look for any damage. It’s also a great time to ask any questions you have about preventative or cosmetic procedures and more.