As the New Year begins, many are choosing their 2020 goals and aspirations that they hope to accomplish this year. However, most people forget about their oral health and often put brushing, flossing and regular dental checkups on the back burner. However, starting the New Year off with a dental cleaning will help you establish good oral health habits early on and aid you in avoiding decay in the future. Find out what to expect during a dental cleaning and why you should put an emphasis on your oral health during 2020 with this guide!
There are many things that you can start over each New Year, but unfortunately, some things can follow you from the previous year into the next, like tooth decay. Tooth decay is one of the most common dental issues that people experience each year, but it is easily avoidable. Tooth decay affects everyone, but it is especially prevalent in children. Decay forms when the hard, outer layer of your teeth, called tooth enamel, is destroyed. Tooth enamel protects the soft, inner parts of your tooth but once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. Sugary foods and drinks are the culprits for enamel loss, as bacteria-filled plaque forms on your teeth and produces acids that eat away at the enamel. This process causes cavities to form, which can be painful and expensive to fix. However, decay and cavities are easily preventable when you’ve established a good oral hygiene routine at home and are regularly visiting your dentist for cleanings. Developing dental habits early on in the year will help you avoid painful decay and invasive treatments later on. As you’re writing up your 2020 New Year’s resolutions, make sure to include oral health goals that you’d like to accomplish to ensure that all aspects of your life, especially dental needs, are accounted for.
When you imagine a dental checkup, what comes to mind? For most people, the dental cleaning is one of the most important and satisfying parts of their checkup as they receive a deep, thorough cleaning of their teeth and mouth. The dental cleaning typically comes at the end of your visit, after your dentist has performed the clinical examination that evaluates your gums, checks your bite, looks for damaged fillings and identifies any signs of tooth decay. From there, the dental cleaning will begin by checking the cleanliness of your mouth, teeth and gums before removing any plaque or tartar that may be hiding on your teeth. The dentist will polish your teeth with specialized tools and products to remove stains, plaque and even microorganisms that are possibly residing there, as well as floss between each tooth to remove any stuck food particles and plaque. Depending on your needs, your dentist will review proper brushing and flossing techniques for home use so that your smile can stay clean and healthy until your next cleaning. He/she will also talk to you about the health of your gums and teeth and what the examination results were. This will highly influence what oral hygiene routines your dentist will recommend for you and how soon you will need to return for a checkup.
Scheduling a dental cleaning and checkup should be one of the first things you do during the New Year. Taking the proper oral health precautions now will help you avoid a damaged smile later on in the year, and it will give you confidence all year long. However, to maintain that beautiful smile that you’ve created, you’ll need to follow a few extra tips for best results. First, improve your toothbrushing and flossing habits. To effectively remove bacteria from your mouth, you should be brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Flossing should be completed once a day to remove accumulated plaque and food on and between teeth. Secondly, make healthier food and beverage choices. Sugary and carb-loaded foods produce acids that eat away at tooth enamel, so brush your teeth regularly after consuming any of these foods. If you can, try and eliminate sugar-filled foods and drinks from your diet altogether to reduce the amount of acid that develops in your mouth. Lastly, quit smoking tobacco. Cigarette smoking and smokeless tobacco contribute to oral cancer, which can not only destroy your oral health but kill you in the long run. The New Year is the perfect time to make the goal to quit smoking, whether that means joining a smoking cessation program, downloading an app that tracks your progress or asking for support from family and friends to keep you accountable during the year.
At Stonebrook Family Dental, we can help you and your family start the New Year Off right with a dental cleaning and checkup. Whether you’re suffering from a cavity or are due for a cleaning, we can help! Call our office at (303) 872-7907 to schedule your next visit and start your journey towards a healthier smile in 2020!