Tips for Taking Care of your Teeth during the New Year

January 2, 2012 in Dentistry by McCarl Dental Group

Here are 5 helpful tips if your New Year’s Resolutions include having a healthy, beautiful smile in 2012.

1. Quit smoking! Smoking is major culprit when it comes to gum disease – and most other diseases. Smoking constricts and damages small blood vessels throughout your body and decreases blood supply that carries healthy nutrients. Smoking also darkens your teeth. It is not too late to make a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking!

2. Brush your teeth three times a day and floss at least once daily. The most important part of tooth care happens at home. Learn correct techniques for brushing and flossing. The dentists and dental hygienists at McCarl Dental Group recommend using an electric toothbrush. Proper brushing and flossing, along with regular dental checkups, can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Your dental health affects your overall health! Visit your dentist and/or dental hygienist every six months and more often when needed.

3. Switch to healthy snacks that include raw fruits and vegetables. Sugary foods and sodas can damage the enamel that protects your teeth. Hard candies, breath mints and cough drops that contain sugar dissolve slowly in your mouth and are especially harmful to your teeth. Acidic drinks can also eat away at the enamel layer of your teeth.

4. Stop grinding your teeth! Clenching and grinding wear down teeth and may lead to broken teeth, headaches, and pain in your jaw muscle and temporomandibular joint (TMJ). In just a few minutes at our dental office, we can make a custom night guard for you that will help prevent damage to your teeth caused by nighttime grinding. A night guard will also ease the tension in your jaw muscles.

5. Never use your teeth as tools! A frequent source of dental emergencies is broken or chipped teeth from people using them as scissors, pliers or fingernail clippers. You would not believe the things people try to open or cut with their teeth – bottles, plastic bags, tape, string, fishing lines, cloth … you name it! We see chipped teeth and broken teeth that damage the dental enamel of natural teeth, but also in porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns. PLEASE DON’T USE YOUR TEETH AS TOOLS!