The new year brings an excellent opportunity to update your health and wellness habits. At Falmouth Dental Arts we often talk about how part of your overall wellness is good oral health, so this year, why not commit to having the healthiest smile possible, starting with this list of dental health resolutions:
1) Get a Fresh Start with a New Toothbrush
Ideally, toothbrushes should be replaced every 3-4 months, but the new year is also a great time to start fresh by replacing all the toothbrushes in your household. We recommend electric toothbrushes to our patients; they provide a superior clean and help keep your gums healthy. If you prefer a traditional toothbrush, look for one with soft or ultra-soft bristles. Choose a toothpaste that is ADA-approved and contains fluoride.
2) Brush Up on Your Technique
Are your brushing skills up to speed? Proper technique includes brushing gently for 2-3 minutes, twice a day, holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gum line. Make sure to brush every surface of your teeth, both front and back. Our team of hygienists is always happy to demonstrate “best brushing techniques” so feel free to ask at your next appointment!
3) Add Flossing to Your Routine
If you are skipping the flossing step in your dental routine, this is the perfect time to make a positive change. Start with once a week and then build up to a daily flossing habit. Also, if you find that you often forget to floss at night, try a different time of day or set a reminder on your phone. Using water flossers or regular floss will help clean food and plaque from between your teeth, helping to keep your gums healthy.
4) Use a Mouthwash
Studies show that using mouthwash on a regular basis is beneficial to your mouth, teeth, and gums. Rinsing with mouthwash gets to the places that toothbrushes can’t, cleans your whole mouth (including your tongue), and freshens your breath! Our hygienists recommend Oxyfresh mouth rinse, an alcohol and dye free formula flavored with essential oils.
5) Drink More Water
Drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day is good for your entire body, and your teeth are no exception. Water is by far the healthiest beverage choice, and drinking a glass after every meal is a great way to rinse away bacteria and help prevent tooth decay.
6) Kick the Tobacco Habit
Ring in the new year by resolving to quit using tobacco products – both smoking and chewing. Tobacco use is linked to oral cancer, as well as tooth decay and gum problems. For help with quitting smoking, consult the Center for Disease Control’s Tips From Former Smokers or talk to our team for additional ideas and support.
7) Upgrade Your Smile
In keeping with a “new year, new you” theme, why not treat yourself to the smile you’ve always wanted with cosmetic dentistry? We offer teeth whitening, bonding, Invisalign, and more – just ask! If you have been delaying dental work, like fillings, crowns, or other repairs because you have maxed out your dental insurance plan, the new year usually resets your maximum benefits back to zero, meaning that your full allowance should now be available again. For any questions about your dental insurance coverage, feel free to give us a call at 207.781.5900 and we would be happy to look into this for you.
8) An Ounce of Prevention
Dr. Brunacini and Dr. Karagiorgos, in conjunction with our team of compassionate dental professionals, will help you to develop a hygiene schedule at home, as well as in our office. Routine hygiene visits that include digital x-rays and cleanings are the best way to address issues before they arise and to maintain your dental health in the new year and beyond!