We all lead busy schedules packed with to-dos, appointments, and much more. Sometimes it can be hard to simply eat enough, let alone eat healthy. Unfortunately sometimes dental health falls by the wayside for busy individuals as well, but the well being of your teeth doesn't have to take a back seat when your schedule gets busy. Here are five quick ways you can improve your dental health.
Floss More Often
Most Americans are good about brushing at least two times a day. And while they may not brush as long or as thorough as they should, this task usually makes it into the daily routine before they leave the house and before they get into bed. Flossing on the other hand isn't so routinely engaged in for some adults. It's easy to push off flossing and just focus on brushing your teeth. This way people think they cover the most important task of brushing, and they can floss "tonight" or later.
Fact is far too many Americans keep skipping daily flossing in their routine, and the impact can be costly for your dental health long term. Flossing can remove plaque from places a brush simply cannot, and kicking it out of your day to day cleaning approach can lead to costly plaque buildup. It may seem like it takes an eternity to floss, especially when you're running late, but the reality is flossing only adds a couple minutes to your day. Make sure you factor in enough time to take care of this important task!
This one sounds easy right? Drink more water. However half of Americans if not more routinely experience symptoms of chronic dehydration. The reasons for this are numerous, from excessive caffeine ingestion to simply not filling up the water bottle enough, it's easy to fall behind on the daily amount of water you need to drink. While dehydration can lead to lasting effects on the body, it can also impact the health of your teeth.
As we've covered before, saliva is an important measure your mouth uses to fight bacteria growth. When you become dehydrated, your mouth does not make enough saliva to be effective in its protective measures. The remedy is simple - make sure you work more water into your daily routine. General guidelines for hydration recommend you drink a half gallon per day. While this can seem like a lot, breaking it up into smaller amounts through the day makes the task seem much easier. You can also buy a reusable water bottle with measurements on it to track your daily progress.
Buy A Better Toothbrush
We all have a go-to toothbrush brand we pick up at the store. While your chosen toothbrush may be perfect for your needs, some patients end up selecting inferior toothbrushes because of price or habit. An investment in a good toothbrush is an easy and valuable upgrade that you can make to your dental health routine. For those that use manual brushes, you may think a heavier or tougher brush can do a better job of cleaning, but the opposite is actually the case. A softer bristle brush can actually do a better job of cleaning and is better for your teeth and gums. Check user reviews of brushes and make sure whatever you use is approved by the ADA.
As for electric toothbrushes, they generally clean better for most patients and are worth the investment. A good electric toothbrush can cost upwards of $100 to $200, but they will last you a long time as long as they have replacement brush heads. Again, make sure the electric toothbrush is ADA approved.
We'll admit it's not always easy to eat healthier, especially when you're on the go or work long hours. However the effort is worth it for both your body and your teeth. Healthy foods like vegetables not only offer a positive nutritional impact, they can actually help clean your teeth. Chewing vegetables can cause the rougher fibers from the vegetable to loosen plaque from your teeth, which is a nice bonus! Adding celery sticks or similar raw foods to your diet can provide a boost to your teeth as well. Of course, you'll still need to avoid foods with excessive sugar or chewy foods that can stick to your teeth.
Visit Your Dentist
This final measure is easy to put off, but it is the most important. Make sure you visit your dentist every six months for regular cleaning and inspection. It may be hard to schedule this into your busy schedule, but many dentists are eager to work with professionals to ensure they can get their cleaning and visits in. Many dentists offer late afternoon appointments and weekend appointments to help accommodate patients with busy schedules.
Here at Grace & Leedy Family Dentistry, we'll work with your schedule best we can to ensure you get the cleaning you need. Call or email us today to schedule an appointment!