The new year and new decade are well under way as we approach the end of January. This year will most likely bring with it many exciting opportunities and challenges, and here at Mount Oval Dental Practice we’d like to add one more- protect your teeth in 2020!
Protecting your teeth is all about 2 things: avoiding the consumption of things that harm your oral health, whilst also maintaining a clean and healthy mouth. So, with that in mind, here are 5 ways you can protect your teeth this year (and decade)!
Say No to Sugar- Sugar is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to oral health issues such as tooth decay or gum disease. When you consume sugar, acidic bacteria is produced in the mouth, which strips down the teeth’s enamel. As the enamel is the protective layer of your teeth, repeated acid attacks will leave your teeth exposed to decay and disease. We’re not saying you should totally remove sugar from your diet, but in order to protect your teeth this year you definitely should be wary of your sugar intake.
Stop Smoking- If you’re still smoking in 2020, now would be a great time to quit. Tobacco consumption not only discolours teeth, but dries out your mouth, disturbing your oral ecosystem through suppressing saliva production. Saliva is an essential factor in flushing out bad bacteria from the mouth, and smoking makes it incredibly easy for harmful bacteria to stick to your teeth, causing a lot of harm. In addition, smokers have a much higher chance of contracting oral cancers- 90% of mouth cancer cases are due to smoking, so now is as good a time to kick the habit as any!
Limit Alcohol Consumption- Along with smoking, excessive alcohol consumption is a big obstacle to overcome if you want a healthy mouth. Alcohol affects your oral health in the same ways as sugar AND smoking- sugary alcoholic drinks are highly acidic, making it easy for your enamel to be stripped away, leading to sensitivity, tooth decay and potential gum disease. Furthermore, as we all know alcohol can leave you very dehydrated, and this leads to Saliva flow being heavily reduced, which is a problem as saliva protects our teeth from decay through the neutralisation of acids- without saliva, our teeth are defenceless against decay. So if you’re doing Dry January, it might be worth reducing alcohol intake over the whole year too!
Visit the Hygienist- You should visit your hygienist at least twice a year for a dental check-up. This is important as they can identify potential issues with your teeth and recommend the best course of action to remedy the problem. Moreover, hygienists can offer a professional scale and polish, which will remove all traces of both tartar and plaque- major causes of gum disease, dental decay, and tooth loss.
Maintain a Brushing Schedule- Last, but certainly not least, is the most important way that you can protect your teeth this year. Brushing and flossing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste will eliminate any bacteria or plaque that has built up overnight or during the day. When used in combination with the previous 4 tips, your mouth will almost definitely be protected in 2020.
So there we have it! Your teeth will be thanking you if you stick with this advice, but if you’re concerned about any aspect of your oral health, or want to know the best ways to implement these changes for 2020, don’t hesitate to book an appointment by giving us a call on 021 489 8784.