The New Year is a time to start fresh, and this year is particularly meaningful when it comes to focusing on your health. As we continue to navigate the pandemic that has affected everyone in 2020, 2021 is a time to stay extra safe when it comes to your health, and this includes your smile.

Your oral health is linked to your immunity, and keeping your smile healthy may just help you support your entire bodily health too. So what changes should you make as part of your oral care routine for the new year? Consider making these changes to help support your dental health in 2021!

Consider Getting an Electric Toothbrush

Electric toothbrushes have many advantages over manual ones. While any form of brushing is preferable to no brushing at all, electric toothbrushes have been shown to better remove plaque than non-electric brushes. They can be especially helpful for people who have:

  • Challenges with their mobility, such as people who have arthritis
  • Been diagnosed with gum disease, as they can help better remove plaque around the gumline
  • Orthodontia, as they can help better clean around braces

As they tend to have smaller brush heads than manual toothbrushes, electric toothbrushes can also help clean each individual tooth better. Consider investing in an electric toothbrush if you haven’t already. While they cost more than manual toothbrushes, when the brush head wears out, you can simply replace the head rather than replacing the entire toothbrush, which helps minimize waste and makes them more cost-efficient over time! 

Keep Your Regular Dental Appointments

Although skipping the dentist might feel safer to you right now due to the ongoing pandemic, it’s never a good idea to put off your oral care, even if it’s just a routine exam and cleaning. Your dentist in Asheville plays a vital role in not only preventing oral health problems but also detecting them early, saving you from having to pursue additional treatment and protecting your smile for life.

In 2021, commit to your regular dental appointments. Our Asheville dental practice is making every effort to accommodate our patients in the safest environment possible by following Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines as well as best practices as outlined by the American Dental Association (ADA) for operating during a pandemic. Rest assured that we’re committed to you and your family’s health and safety at Saunders DDS, and should you have any questions about our care, we encourage you to give us a call at (828) 277-6060.

Floss Once Every Day 

Flossing is an integral part of any oral care routine, as it reaches the places that your toothbrush can’t to remove plaque and bacteria. Left alone, this accumulated plaque between the teeth can lead to chronic bad breath, gum disease, and even tooth decay. Flossing is a simple habit that’s best done before bed, but really, anytime you can floss is great.

Choose the floss that’s most comfortable for you to use, although remember that if you haven’t flossed in a while, flossing may be uncomfortable the first few times you do it. If your discomfort doesn’t subside, be sure to follow up with your Asheville dentist for an evaluation.

Eat Healthy for a Cleaner Smile

Your diet plays an important part in your oral health. Eating healthier, which includes reducing your consumption of refined sugar and focusing more on fresh, whole foods when possible, can help you have healthier teeth and gums.

Sugar produces bacteria and acids that attack tooth enamel and can lead to sensitivity, discoloration, and an increased risk of cavities. Unlike fresh fruits, which contain water and fiber to help balance their natural sugar content, refined sugar doesn’t have the same buffering potential and instead can directly harm teeth.

Drinking plenty of water can also help you have a cleaner, healthier smile. Water helps rinse teeth after eating and stops harmful acids and sticky foods from affecting your tooth enamel. Water can even help you avoid bad breath, as it helps keep you hydrated which can prevent dry mouth, a common cause of bad breath.

Make Exercise Part of a Healthy Lifestyle

Most people know that exercise is beneficial to their health, but did you also know that exercise can help your smile? One study showed that people who exercised regularly and abstained from smoking were 54% less likely to get gum disease than those who didn’t.

In addition, complications that can result from not exercising, including being overweight or obese, can increase your risk for diseases such as diabetes, which can have a negative impact on your dental health.

Exercise can also help keep inflammation lower in the body, which may benefit those who are at risk for gum disease. If you don’t have a regular exercise routine already, consider making it a priority in 2021. Your physician can recommend the best forms of exercise for you based on your individual health and abilities!

Be Wary of Trends

Trends can be helpful in some instances, but when it comes to your health, it pays to be careful of the next new thing. Dental trends have the potential to be damaging to teeth—consider charcoal toothpaste, which can be too harsh for some people and lead to enamel damage and tooth sensitivity, or lemon water, which is very acidic and can also lead to enamel damage.

Your best bet is to follow up with your dentist in Asheville if you’re considering trying something new. Your oral healthcare professional can let you know if the practice you’re considering would be helpful to your unique smile!

Contact Us for an Appointment Today!

Are you overdue for a checkup, or have yet to schedule your regular one? Contact us for an appointment today at Saunders DDS by calling us at (828) 277-6060, or by using our contact form to get in touch. We’re committed to helping you and your family take the best care of your smiles as we venture into 2021 together. Have a safe and happy New Year!

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