6 Ways to Maintain a Healthier Smile

Dental Choice's 6 ways to maintain a healthier smile

6 Ways to Maintain a Healthier Smile

By Dr. Andrea Piccoli  & Dr. Peter Watson of 17th Ave Dental Choice

When you are feeling a cough coming on, you head to the doctor for a check up. When your child has a fever, you make sure to rush her to the pediatrician for an evaluation. But when your tooth starts bothering you, you tell yourself that it will get better soon. Many individuals do not think of their oral care in the same way that they think of their general health, but your mouth is the door to the rest of your body. Here are 6 tips to follow for good oral health:

  1. Coffee Drinkers, Rinse with Water: In their natural form, coffee and tea can be healthy choices, but unfortunately lots of people can’t resist adding a little sugar to the mix. (Starbucks takes us to a whole other level, with their caramel syrups and hazelnut shots!) Coffee is known for being a source of dehydration, and in this way we see it causing “dry mouth” for some of our patients, and of course we can’t forget about the stains coffee can leave on our teeth.  If you find you are a heavily caffeinated person, make sure to drink lots of water and try to keep the add-ons to a minimum.
  2. Seek Regular Periodontal Care: It’s important to realize that gum disease is THE most common dental problem, and 7/10 Canadians will develop gum disease at some time in their lives. We encourage our patients to try to prevent gum disease before it becomes serious because it generally progresses quite painlessly until we have a real problem. Periodontal care and gum disease treatments allow for inflammation to be addressed in the gums and tissues at an early stage by our hygienists. Seeing a hygienist regularly ensures that your mouth is staying consistently healthy and that gum disease is kept at bay. If you leave your gums in a bad state for too long you may need to be referred to see a periodontist who treats serious forms of gum disease that do not get better with normal dental care.
  3. Get into a routine and set a timer: According to the Academy of General Dentistry, the average brushing time for an individual is from 45-70 seconds per day. But the recommended brushing time is actually closer to 2 or 3 times that amount, taking us closer to an average of 2 minutes in the morning and 2 minutes at night. So if we do the math, most people are brushing for 274 minutes a year when they should be brushing 1460 minutes a year.
  4. Limit your Alcohol Intake: Similar to coffee and tea, alcohol causes dehydration and dry mouth. If you drink alcohol often, you may find that you have a reduced amount of saliva, which can lead to tooth decay over time. Alcohol combined with sugars and citric content can contribute to decay. Heavy alcohol use can increases your risk for mouth cancer.
  5. Foods to Watch out For:Certain foods can cause the breakdown of enamel, which is a natural layer of protection your mouth creates. Although eating citrus is good for acquiring your daily vitamins, frequent exposures to acidic foods can erode enamel, and even cause mouth sores. Sticky sugary foods are your mouths worst nightmare, as they remain in contact with our teeth for long periods of time, and can cause cavities to form in the tight, hard to reach places of our mouths.
  6. Visit the Dentist:This might seem like a basic dental health tip, but many people do not visit the dentist! Seeing the dentist at least twice a year ensures that you are taking the best care of your teeth and gums. Brushing and flossing alone are not enough, as we check for oral cancer, periodontal disease, and tooth decay. Preventative care is much better than waiting for toothaches and issues, and will save you the cost of major work in the future!

17th Ave. Dental Choice employees pose and smileIf you would like to learn more ways to keep your oral health well covered, then do not hesitate to contact Dr. Piccoli or Dr. Watson at 17th Ave Dental Choice. Our team of dental experts is here to answer all of your questions and help you find dental health solutions that work for your lifestyle. Request an appointment with us today!



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