With the over indulgence of the festive season now behind us, the early months of the year is the time to reflect on the state of our physical and mental well-being. One aspect many tend to focus upon is their personal dental hygiene. Hands up, how often do you visit the local dentist practise? Do you really brush your teeth that many times a day? So not everyone is perfect, but there is still time to change this bad habit, so where to start?
How many times a day should I Brush?
At least two times a day, if you can get a third brush in during your lunch break then fantastic. Obviously by brushing at least twice a day ensures you are doing the very least to stave off gum and tooth decay. To give that added protection use a fluoride based toothpaste to act as a further barrier to preventing any other related gum problems. Many dentists advise to a ‘scale and polish’. This thorough clean of your teeth and gums further enhances against any bacteria that could threaten the overall health of your mouth.
Should I wear Braces?
For many, braces are recommended. Not solely for cosmetic reasons, dental braces are now being recommended to help combat a number of ailments such as jaw dysfunctions, excessive wear of individual teeth and problems with dental hygiene. As dental braces have advanced, so has the software which goes into developing such a piece of equipment. Now braces are designed to be invisible and fitted behind the teeth, so no one can actually see the fixture. With specialist software available they are now designed to fit the individual, so they can be easily adjusted and altered in line with your teeth straightening out, therefore dramatically reducing any discomfort.
What should I Avoid?
What you eat and drink can dramatically affect the health and appearance of your teeth. Obvious foods such as high in sugar foods and drinks, red wine, coffee and tea all have a damming effect on the appearance of teeth. Should you cut them out completely? Obviously cutting these foods out completely is impossible, but there are ways around such dilemmas. Reducing your intake of such foods is important first of all, secondly, with the drinks in minds, have you considered drinking such products through a straw? High in sugar drinks are relatively easy to drink through a straw, and can bypass a lot the fluid away from your teeth.
Floss, Floss and….
Flossing is a highly effective way of ensuring you are doing right by your teeth. When brushing its impossible to get into every nook and cranny, flossing though can get to those hard to reach places. Dentists advise flossing to be one of the best preventative methods to ensuring overall dental health, so why would you not listen to this advice?
Lisa works as a dental hygienist and health writer.