The Dental Do’s And Don’ts For The New Year

A senior patient loves her new smileAs 2016 comes to a close and 2017 lies just beyond the horizon, it’s time to take stock of what you’ve achieved this year and what you could work on. Is your dental care on that list?

If not, you’re not alone! Dental care may not be high on everyone’s priority list, but it really should. By ensuring you have a healthy mouth, you can eat and speak with full function, and prevent oral diseases from infecting your body. For your New Year’s resolutions this year, include a few of the tips below to keep your smile brilliant and fresh.

Follow The 2 By 2 Rule

The 2 By 2 rule was penned by the American Dental Association, and stands for brushing your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes each time. Any more frequent brushing could potentially scrape the enamel, while anything less is robbing you of the chance to clear away bacteria and leftover food particles.

Ease Up On The Alcohol

Alcohol can be fun in moderation, and studies show that a glass of red wine can be healthy for your heart. But consuming an abundance of alcohol is not only a risk to your digestive health, but also your oral health. Some alcoholic drinks have high levels of acidity that can lay waste to your enamel, without proper dental care. In addition, alcohol naturally dries out your mouth, making it more difficult to produce saliva and putting you at risk for bacterial infections.

Look For Xylitol

It’s normal to snack throughout the day, but it wouldn’t make sense to brush after every morsel you eat. Instead, reach for some sugar-free gum or lozenges that contain Xylitol after a meal. Xylitol combats the acidity produced by cavity-causing bacteria, preventing plaque from sticking to your enamel. Couple xylitol products with your twice-a-day-brushing regimen, and you can ensure that your teeth are protected from dental caries.

Don’t Put Off Dental Treatments

We make all sorts of excuses not to follow our goals: we’re too busy, it’s too difficult, or other parts of life have gotten in the way. But putting off much-needed dental work could only have a negative impact on your smile. Tooth decay, gum disease, and misaligned teeth are just a few examples of conditions that you shouldn’t ignore and leave untreated. By not addressing them, these conditions can become worse and affect your health, appearance, and well-being.

Tooth decay and gum disease can weaken your tissues and jawbone, causing teeth to decay, loosen, or even fall out. Misaligned teeth can make simple acts like eating and speaking more difficult in the future. By correcting your conditions now, you can save yourself from a lot of heartache and expensive treatments down the road.

Treat Your Smile With Cosmetic Dentistry

You can also feel free to indulge in your smile this year. Are you plagued with unsightly stains or other imperfections on the surface of your teeth? Quick cosmetic solutions such as teeth whitening or porcelain veneers can help fix that. These treatments can be especially helpful if you have a job in the public eye, or are trying to get back into the dating scene. Teeth whitening can rid your smile of those stubborn coffee and wine stains, while porcelain veneers can cover up cracks or chips in your teeth. Even major chips or cracks can be protected and masked by a customized crown. If need be, these treatments can even be combined in a smile makeover to fit your ideal dream smile.

Got Dental Anxiety? Try Sedation Dentistry

If your hands get clammy at the thought of a dental appointment, or you feel distraught while sitting in a dental office, then you may be afflicted with dental anxiety. It’s an emotional state that can prevent patients from seeing the dentist, and even getting the treatments they need. But we want you to know that getting the proper care you need is possible, thanks to sedation dentistry. Dr. Hughes offers oral conscious sedation, nitrous oxide, and IV conscious sedation, so patients have a choice of which method works for them.

  • Oral Conscious Sedation: This type of sedation is typically a pill that the patient swallows either the night before or an hour before their appointment. By the time they reach our office, they’ll feel extremely relaxed and calm for their treatment.
  • Nitrous Oxide: Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is administered through a mask over the nose. As the patient inhales the gas while they sit in the chair, they will feel composed and serene for the duration of their treatment. Once the mask is removed, the nitrous oxide wears off rather quickly.
  • IV Conscious Sedation: IV sedation is a cocktail of chemicals administered through a needle in the hand or arm. It’s considered one of the most controlled forms of sedation dentistry, allowing the patient to come out of the sedation a little easier.

Dental anxiety has become one of the more prevalent reasons why patients avoid the dentist during the year. But thanks to sedation dentistry, patients now can feel calm and collected for their appointments, with little to no memory of the visit at all. Through this method, Dr. Griffin and our team can quickly complete treatments in a short time with minimal fuss.

Contact Us For New Year’s Dental Tips

Don’t shirk on your New Year’s resolutions for 2017. Instead, take control of your dental health and contact us at Advanced Dental Center of Florence for top-notch care. We’ll walk you through treatments you can qualify for, and answer any questions you may have. Let us help you reach your dream smile this year!

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