What’s better than having your mouth poked and vacuumed under a hot lamp? Well, a few things. Let’s be honest, whether you’re in Reno, NV, or New York City, the feelings around trips to the dentist are generally the same: it hurts, and all the nights you almost flossed don’t amount to much once that chair starts leaning back.
Tooth decay affects 91% of Americans between age 20 and 64. Which is why we let out a heavy sigh when a postcard from the dentist arrives in the mail. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Trips to the dentist can be a breeze with a few small changes in lifestyle and oral care routine:
Brush After Meals
This suggestion runs the risk of earning some well-deserved eye-rolls. However, research links poor brushing habits to higher chances of Alzheimer’s, heart attack, and stroke. Brushing our teeth comes as second nature to many of us. The difference in the overall heath of our mouth and body comes from how well- and often- we brush. According to the Mayo Clinic and American Dental Association, you should try for a good, two-minute brush with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day.
You’ve done a beautiful, two-minute brush and your mouth feels fantastic—no one will ever know about the chili dog and fries, there’s simply no way. But, what about all that stuff in-between your teeth? Time to break out the floss. Sure, it’s a lot of work, but flossing is a key component to long-lasting oral health. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of all Americans over 30 have some form of gum disease. So, work some floss into your routine and make sure all that brushing doesn’t go to waste.
Eat with Your Teeth in Mind
Nothing affects the wellbeing of your mouth more than what you put into it. High-sugar foods produce acids that can damage tooth enamel and, ultimately, cause tooth decay. But by sticking with wholesome foods such as leafy greens, fresh fruits and vegetables, and cheese—that’s right, cheese—you can strengthen your teeth and avoid all that drilling.
Did you know the tap water in Reno, NV, is some of the highest quality in the country? Grabbing some drinking water from your kitchen sink is a great way to not only stay hydrated but keep your mouth happy as well. Tap water is often infused with small amounts of the naturally occurring mineral fluoride which helps promote oral health, so drink up!
Once you’ve embraced a steady brushing and flossing regimen, and your diet rivals that of an Olympic athlete, it’s time to get on a regular schedule with your dentist. By going against your better instinct and getting in for an annual appointment, your teeth get the professional attention they deserve, and of course, your dentist gets to marvel at the beautiful work you’ve done.