It’s confession time — sometimes people forget to brush their teeth before bed. Shocking, right? Well, while the occasional lapse in dental care won’t have a detrimental effect on oral health, habitual negligence certainly will. Brushing your teeth only once a day increases your risk of tooth decay by a whopping 33 percent, according to the Oral Health Foundation.
We all have 32 pearly white reasons to practice good oral health, so here are three self-care habits you can practice today.
1. Brighten teeth at home
Teeth whitening is one of the most popular dental procedures because it allows people to hit the reset button on their teeth. This procedure is perceived as a fix-all to years of brushing and flossing neglect, but is it doing more harm than good?
The American Dental Association has done exhaustive studies on the effect of teeth whitening products — most of which contain a chemical compound called carbamide peroxide, which eventually breaks down into hydrogen peroxide. This compound is deemed safe, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t adverse side effects. For example, some people experience heightened sensitivity and discomfort due to hydrogen peroxide in whitening products. Plus, the chemical compound is known to kill naturally-occuring flora that fend off good bacteria in our mouths.
While whitening products are mostly safe, many people turn to oral care remedies that can be used at home to whiten teeth. Ask your dentist about your options for natural, effective teeth whiteners that can be used at home. These safe solutions can be a subtle and effective option if you’re looking for affordable teeth whitening.
2. Reduce stress
Although bruxism — colloquially known as teeth grinding — can be caused by an askew bite or chipped tooth, a common cause is actually stress. Pent up anxiety tends to manifest in sleep disorders, so the grinding you experience at night is often directly correlated to daytime anxiety.
Rather than spending hundreds of dollars on a custom nighttime mouthguard, consider getting to the “root” of the problem and reduce day-to-day stress. Obviously, this is easier said than done. No one person has an easy fix to stress management, but there are several proactive steps you can take at home to reduce the likelihood of teeth grinding:
"Brushing your teeth only once a day increases your risk of tooth decay by a whopping 33 percent, according to the Oral Health Foundation."
- Meditation — Spend a little time during the day to focus on yourself and enjoy some quiet serenity.
- Breathing exercises — When you’re on the verge of panic, focus on your breathing to reduce your heart rate. Google even has an animated breathing guide to aid relaxation.
- Exercise — Release tension through physical activity and get fit along the way.
3. Visit the dentist more often
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but many people actually completely forgo professional dental care due to cost and inconvenience. A report from the ADA found that just over one-third of Americans see a dentist for semi-annual checkups.
What’s the big deal — you brush and floss everyday, so that’s good enough, right? Actually no. Like an oil change for your vehicle, you can probably get away with not doing it for a while, but the adverse effects of neglect will eventually catch up to you. Regular visits to the dentist are important to check for diseases and fend off any future maladies through professional cleanings.
Trips to the dentist are not a luxury, and your prolonged oral health depend on them, so if cost is what’s been holding you back, consider making those semi-annual visits more affordable through a dental discount program. Dental Solutions provides an alternative to dental insurance. This dental discount program offers you and everyone in your household 20-50 percent off the retail cost of both general and advanced oral health procedures. Save on costly procedures such as whitenings, fillings, extractions and even regular checkups.
For more information about dental discount programs, or to join a plan today, click the button below.