Happy New Year! 2016 is behind us, which means that it’s time to start 2017 off the right way – with a healthy smile! Below, we’ve outlined some important rules to follow that will help keep your family’s teeth healthy this year.
1 – Brush Twice Per Day
Avoiding cavities begins with proper, routine oral care. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises that everyone brushes their teeth twice per day, for two minutes each session. By brushing for the proper amount of time, you help ensure that you are cleaning all of the bad bacteria off of your teeth and preventing cavities. Be sure to brush the entire surface of your teeth, including the backside of your teeth – which is often neglected.
It can be tough to convince your child to brush for the full two minutes, but there are some fun ways to help them achieve better brushing results. Go Online to find tooth brushing videos for children. Most of these videos are at least two minutes long, and help keep kids engaged and focused while they brush.
2 – Floss Daily
Brushing twice per day is a great way to clean most of the surface area of teeth, but it doesn’t clean all of it. The AAPD recommends that everyone floss once per day, and to floss between every tooth. Flossing clears food debris from the cracks between teeth. Food debris can fuel bad bacteria that cause plaque buildup and cavities.
3 – Reduce Sugar Intake
Too much sugar can cause tooth decay, we all know that. But how does it work? When you consume sugar, bad bacteria in your mouth feeds off of it and create acids that destroy tooth enamel. Try limiting the amount of sugar you eat to keep your enamel strong and prevent cavities. Additionally, reduce the amount of starchy carbs that you consume (like bread and chips) to keep your teeth strong. When left in the mouth for too long, starchy carbs eventually turn into sugar and fuel bad bacteria.
A good place to start cutting back on your sugar intake is in your beverages. Try to avoid fruit juice, sports drinks and colas, which all contain a high amount of sugar. Drink more water, which helps clean debris from teeth, and keeps you hydrated.
4 – Eat More Dairy
Dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt are a great source of calcium, which plays an important role in strengthening teeth. In fact, your body stores 99% of its calcium in your bones and teeth! Milk and dairy products reduce tooth decay by strengthening tooth enamel – the first line of defense against cavities. This year, keep your tooth enamel strong by getting plenty of dairy products and calcium.
Make Your Mouth Happy in 2017
The rules above will help keep your family’s teeth healthy this year, but they aren’t the only things you need to do to stay on top of your oral health. It’s imperative that you visit the dentist at least twice per year for regularly scheduled cleanings and observation.