Maintaining dental health can be challenging when you’re a busy professional. Between work, family, and social obligations, it often seems like there just isn’t enough time to fit in another task. But neglecting your oral health can have serious consequences. Some common dental problems, like gum disease, can lead to more serious health issues. So it’s essential to make time for it.
Here are some tips for ensuring your dental health doesn’t fall by the wayside.
1. Practice good dental hygiene.
This means brushing and flossing regularly, as well as using mouthwash. Many people find that electric toothbrushes are more effective than manual ones. And if you have trouble flossing, there are now water flossers that can make the process easier. They’re not expensive and can make a big difference in your dental health.
When brushing your teeth, use circular motions and aim the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle towards the gum line. You should brush for two minutes at least. And don’t forget to brush your tongue! Avoid using too much force, as this can damage your gums.
2. Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings.
Even if you brush and floss religiously, seeing a dentist is still important. They can spot problems you might not be aware of and offer professional cleanings to remove any build-up on your teeth. Most dentists recommend getting a cleaning and checkup at least once every six months. But if you have a history of dental problems, you may need to go more often.
With modern technology, you may also get quicker and less painful treatments that will not hinder your career or personal life as they would have years ago. Dental implants used to be a lengthy and painful process, but now same-day dental implants are available in many cases. These can give you a new tooth in just one day. Other quick and easy procedures like teeth whitening can be done in-office with little to no discomfort.
3. Eat a healthy diet.
Many busy professionals often overlook the connection between diet and dental health. But what you eat can greatly impact your teeth and gums. Foods that are high in sugar and acidity can cause tooth decay. And sticky foods can lead to gum disease. So it’s important to limit these in your diet.
Instead, focus on eating foods that are good for your teeth. These include crunchy fruits and vegetables, which help clean your teeth as you eat them. Dairy products, like cheese and yogurt, are also good for your teeth as they contain calcium and other minerals that strengthen them. Green and black teas are also great for your oral health as they contain antioxidants that fight against gum disease.
4. Quit smoking.
Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your dental health. It increases the risk of developing gum disease, tooth decay, and oral cancer. Quitting is the best thing you can do for your teeth. Many resources can help you stop, so there’s no excuse not to try.
Your dentist can also help you quit smoking. They can offer guidance and support and provide products that can help, like nicotine gum or patches. Of course, they can also help repair the damage smoking has already done to your teeth. They can recommend treatments like teeth whitening, veneers, or dental implants to help you regain your confidence.
5. Use fluoride.
Fluoride is a mineral that helps prevent tooth decay. It’s found in many products, like toothpaste and mouthwash. It can also be added to water supplies to help the entire community prevent cavities.
Check the labels if you’re unsure if your toothpaste or mouthwash contains fluoride. Look for the American Dental Association’s (ADA) seal of approval, which means the product has been tested and approved by the ADA. If you live in an area with fluoridated water, you’re already getting the benefits of fluoride. But if you don’t, talk to your dentist about ways to get more fluoride.
6. Consider dental insurance.
Finally, you may want to consider dental insurance. Many employer-sponsored health plans include dental coverage. But if yours doesn’t, there are standalone dental plans available. Dental insurance can help cover the cost of preventive care, like checkups and cleanings. It can also help pay for more serious procedures, like fillings, crowns, and braces.
If you have dental insurance, be sure to use it. Most plans have an annual maximum that they will pay out. So if you don’t use it, you’ll lose the benefits.
Busy professionals often have to sacrifice their health for their careers. But dental health is important and should not be neglected. By following these tips, you can keep up with your dental health and avoid common problems like tooth decay and gum disease. Talk to your dentist about other ways to keep your smile healthy and bright.