Small steps can make a big difference for the sake of your smile 

If you’re like most people, you have followed the same routine for taking care of your teeth for most of your life. That may or may not be serving you well. Perhaps the time is right to adjust your dental care habits as part of your renewed focus on health this year. 

Building a healthier you begins with good oral health. Studies have shown that poor oral health can contribute to a wide range of chronic issues including diabetes and heart disease. Chief among the aspects of oral care that we see many people neglect is the gums. Yes, that means traditional flossing or using a water flossing device. 

If you are a regular flosser, good for you! However, if you are one of the many people who seldom, if ever, take the time to floss, then consider making this your healthcare focus for the year. Dentists are equipped to use a variety of techniques for tooth repair, but your gums are another matter. This one is your responsibility, and changing your daily routine to include flossing is the most effective upgrade you can make. 

Upgrade to an electric toothbrush for improved cleaning power 

We find that our patients who use electric toothbrushes are more successful in removing plaque and stain from their teeth than those who use traditional brushes. Dr. Dennis Lucas recommends the Philips Sonicare or Waterpik’s Sonic-Fusion as the best options. The Waterpik Sonic-Fusion also includes a built-in water flosser. 

The sonic action of both brands produces sound waves with bristle action that causes bacterial cells in the plaque layer on your teeth to burst. This technology greatly lowers the bacterial load in plaque and reduces the opportunity for tooth decay. 

Drinking plenty of water does your mouth a world of good 

While the general public has long understood the benefits of staying hydrated when it comes to overall health, you may not realize how important it is for your oral health as well. Water is the base substance your body and brain needs to function well, and it also serves a crucial cleaning role in your mouth. Coffee and other caffeinated drinks actually dehydrate your body, not to mention leave stains on your teeth. 

The bacteria that causes cavity development live off the sugars and acids that food and sugary drinks leave on and between your teeth. Drinking water, and even swishing it around in your mouth while you’re at it, helps wash away that residue and bacteria. The National Institutes of Health recently published a study that found adults who stay hydrated typically live longer and healthier lives. They are less likely to develop chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease. 

One additional suggestion as you take your oral health to a new level this year is to watch what you choose for snacks. Try munching on nuts, fruits and vegetables rather than a bag of chips or candy bar the next time you feel hungry between meals. You also may find your energy levels will remain more stable because your blood sugar levels won’t spike. 

About Dr. Dennis Lucas – Naples, Florida, dentist 

Dr. Dennis Lucas performs cosmetic and restorative dental techniques, as well as traditional preventive dental services for patients in and around Naples, Florida. His expertise, supported by the latest in dental technology, ensures oral health plays a role in his patients’ total healthcare picture. Call (239) 262-5851 to schedule an appointment.