Healthy Oral Habits for the New Year

If you’re like us, the holidays typically leave you feeling grateful and full of joy, but also tired and full of sugar and sweets. We understand - who can resist Grandma’s famous chocolate chip cookies? While it’s good to treat ourselves (within moderation!) during the holidays, it’s also important to remember proper oral hygiene practices. Thankfully, there’s no better time to freshen up your dental care routine than the New Year! Our family dentists here at Short Pump Dental in Henrico, VA have compiled some helpful oral care and hygiene tips for you and your family to keep in mind as we fly into 2019.

How Should You Brush Your Teeth?

Frequently brushing our teeth allows us to remove bacteria and plaque build-up, get rid of (and prevent bad breath), prevent gum disease and tooth decay, and promote whiter teeth. Although brushing our teeth feels like a simple and sometimes mindless habit to most of us, we can all benefit from “brushing up” on our oral hygiene skills. Remember these tips next time you brush your teeth:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day, every day.
  • Brush for a full two minutes. If this is difficult or if your young children need some extra encouragement, play a song while you brush to help motivate you to brush longer!
  • Don’t brush with too much pressure - gentle pressure will get the job done and won’t risk damaging your gums.
  • Store your toothbrush in the open air, not away in a drawer or in a toothbrush case. Allowing it to dry naturally prevents bacteria from growing in the bristles.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months.
  • When it comes to bristles, softer is better. That being said, consult with your local dentist to find out which type of brush is best for your teeth and gums.
  • Make sure to brush all sides of your teeth- inner, outer, and chewing sides (upward and downward facing sides of your teeth)!

Why Is Flossing So Important?

Flossing is one of the most important ways to improve not only your oral health, but also your overall health. Despite being well-known to all and proven to improve dental health, many people fail to make flossing a consistent part of their oral health routine. Here are some benefits of and tips for flossing:

  • Floss removes bacteria and plaque from sides of your teeth that can’t be reached with a toothbrush. You brush the other 3 surfaces of your teeth, so these two hidden surfaces should be treated with just as much importance!
  • Flossing preserves bone and gum health and prevents gum disease, allowing you to have a healthier, happier smile that will last a lifetime.
  • To floss, wrap the floss around each tooth in the shape of a “C” and slide it gently up and down along the tooth.

Contact Our Team At Short Pump Dental For More Dental Tips!

By adhering to these oral health practices, you and your family will start the New Year off with teeth and gums that are as healthy as can be. Our dentists at Short Pump Dental can help you maintain this routine throughout the whole year! Make sure contact us to schedule you and your family’s next general cleaning, dental examination, or teeth whitening appointment at Short Pump Dental.

On behalf of our entire staff at Short Pump Dental, we have enjoyed serving you and your family in Henrico, Richmond, and neighboring communities over the last year. We wish you a very happy and healthy New Year!