Taking care of your oral hygiene should be at the top of your priority list when it comes to establishing good self-care habits. Too many negative consequences can result from poor dental hygiene habits like cavities, gum disease, infection, loss of a tooth.
According to a survey done by the American Dental Association (ADA) in 2014, American adults can be doing better with their dental hygiene. About seven out of 10 people brushed their teeth twice a day, but that means that 30 percent didn’t do this. When it came to flossing, only four out of 10 floss at least once a day, and 20 percent didn’t floss at all.
Dentists have their work cut out for them.
If you don’t want to have dental implants in the next couple years, follow these tips to establish good dental hygiene habits now.
Brush twice a day
Brushing your teeth prevents the daily food and sugars you intake from developing into plaque and causing cavities. But you need to do it often for it to help.
The best way to get started is to establish a routine. Decide when you will brush your teeth – when you wake up, after breakfast, after dinner, before bed, etc. – and stick to that time every day. If it helps, pick an activity you do every day, like taking a shower, brushing your hair, eating breakfast, etc. and brush your teeth every you do this activity. It will be easier to stick to when adding it to a previously established routine.
Keep your toothbrush and toothpaste where you will see them. If you don’t go into the bathroom first thing in the morning, put them on your nightstand.
If you tend to be forgetful, set an alarm on your phone for the specific times you chose.
Make it fun! Play your favorite song every time you brush your teeth. This will also help you brush for a good amount of time.
Try to brush your teeth every day for at least thirty days. By that point it will be a habit that you’ve created and you might find that it is difficult to leave the house without brushing your teeth because it is a part of your daily routine.
Establishing good flossing habits will be similar to everything you’ve done with brushing your teeth. You’ll want to set a specific time, maybe right after you brush your teeth, keep the floss where you can see it, set an alarm, and do it every day for thirty days.
If you have been struggling to brush and floss for a long time, try starting with brushing first. Then once you have established that habit, add flossing into the mix.
Limit sugary foods
Try to avoid snacking on sugar foods, especially between meals and after dinner. If you are a devout snacker, try these tips for limiting your sugar intake:
- Keep healthy snacks on hand, like carrots, apples, or almonds.
- Remove sugar from the counter or table so you don’t add it to your cereal, coffee, or tea.
- Keep sugary snacks out of your house, or at least out of sight so they aren’t the first snack you go for.
- Buy sugar-free, low calorie beverages.
Dental Habits 4: Visit dentist regularly
Make sure to visit your dentist at least once a year, though most will recommend going in for a cleaning every six months. Your dentist will help treat and prevent the aforementioned consequences of bad dental hygiene.
All it takes is scheduling an appointment and getting in once. Then they will send you reminders and set up appointments for future visits.