So you’ve been consistent with brushing and think you’re good to go when it comes to oral hygiene? We hate to break it to you, but there are just a few more things you can (and should!) do for optimal dental care.

Sorry to use the “should” word, but in this case, it’s truly in your best interest to include these habits and practices to stay healthy for the long run:

Step 1: Recognize that you are unique.

What works for someone else’s oral health may not work for you. Your medical history and conditions can have a significant impact on your mouth. For example, patients being treated for cancer, diabetes, heart disease and hormonal fluctuations may need extra care and attention, as do patients with dentures or mouth guards. Certain medications can cause tartar to accumulate quickly, requiring visits to the family dentist every four or five months instead of every six. This helps avoid plaque buildup and circumvent gum disease. Along with other customized preventive dentistry approaches, we can address potential oral health issues before they begin.

That is why communication with the New Look Dental clinic is so important. When we know that you have health concerns or new medications, we can provide more effective and comfortable dental care during your visit.

Expectant mothers and patients with diabetes may need to take a few extra steps or get additional dental services to ensure better oral health. We can help define your personalized daily routine to ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy and encourage you to stay the course.

Step 2: Invest in your smile.

Fluoride is like an insurance plan for your smile – it protects you and your family against tooth decay. It is a staple in pediatric dental care as it helps fortify teeth while they develop. While tap water has some fluoride, you can find a more therapeutic amount in toothpaste and mouthwash. Some patients may even benefit from supplementation or prescription fluoride.

Step 3: Make good habits.

Brush a minimum of twice daily and after you eat. Floss once a day, and in no time, you won’t think twice about these plaque-removing habits that help prevent gum disease. Those at risk for gum disease can benefit from antibacterial mouth rinses, as well.

Step 4: Eat right for your smile.

This means limiting sugars that produce acids that trigger decay. The top culprits are candy, cake, cookies, dried fruit, ice cream, pie, soda and potato chips. If you indulge, brush after or chew sugarless gum when on the go.

Step 5: Ditch tobacco.

All forms of tobacco use put people at risk for oral cancer and gum disease. Oral cancer and cancer of the esophagus, larynx and pharynx can result from traditional and electronic cigarettes. There are also many other oral and health problems associated with tobacco, with discolored teeth and bad breath being the most common.

Step 6: Open up and say Aah.

Regularly take a gander inside your mouth to know what your “normal” is and spot anything out of the ordinary. Should you see any changes, see the dentist to get them quickly addressed. A magnifying mirror makes it easy to check for cuts, growths, lesions, spots, and swelling inside cheeks and lips, on your gums or tongue. Remember to look at the roof of your mouth, underneath your tongue and check for cracks, tooth loosening or darkening. Of course, if you are experiencing pain, reach out to us right away.

Step 7: Come and see us sometime.

Well, not just any time, but at least twice a year for a dental cleaning and check-up.

Step 8: Come armed.

Bring us your questions. Wondering what is involved in a specific procedure or if there are other treatment options? Maybe you just want to know if coming in more frequently or fluoride supplements would help you. No matter your concern, run it by your hygienist or dentist. As your trusted partner, we are here to help clarify what treatments are needed and explain the details to keep your smile healthy.

Many patients want to know about costs, payment schedules and preferred forms of payment. We can answer any questions during your visit and work with you to create a treatment plan that addresses your needs.

If you are curious about enhancing your smile, we’re happy to schedule a consultation and exam to determine the best procedures to give you the look you seek.