The pandemic has led to many people staying inside more, and as a result, snacking more frequently, increasing their risk of tooth decay. In today’s blog, your Astoria, NY, dentist will explain what you can do to avoid pandemic-related cavities and improve the overall health and beauty of your smile!
The Causes of Tooth Decay
When we consume foods and snacks high in sugar and starch, this leaves behind particles on and between the teeth. Bacteria will then break down these bits of foods, creating higher levels of oral acidity and coating the teeth in harmful layers of plaque buildup too. Beverages high in sugar could also promote plaque buildup. Not only does plaque lead to more visible teeth stains and bad breath, but the buildup could mean a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease too. In addition to the steps we outline below, you can also help your smile by drinking more water, and cutting back on sugary and starchy items like candy, chips, and sodas.
Brushing and Flossing
When we brush and floss, we remove stray bits of sugar and starch from the smile, reducing the severity of plaque buildup. But this only happens if we care for our teeth properly. To start, make sure you brush your teeth when you wake up and then again before going to bed. Each session should last about two minutes, ensuring you reach every available surface. Make sure your toothbrush, whether electric or manual, has soft bristles. Be sure to use a fluoride toothpaste too, as this strengthens outer enamel. Every evening before bed we suggest flossing too, as this reaches what is beyond the reach of a toothbrush. You should take an 18-to-10-inch length of floss tape, and run it up and down each side of every tooth, dipping below the gum line. Wrapping each end around the thumbs and holding it taut with your index fingers can help you better maneuver the tape.
Checkups and Cleanings
Every six months, you should also stop in for a checkup. During this visit, we will carefully examine your smile with digital technology to identify the presence of developing decay or periodontal disease. With the cleaning portion, we then completely remove all plaque and tartar before polishing your teeth. These visits are also essential for safeguarding your oral health. If you have any questions about how to care for your smile from home, or if you would like to schedule a visit for you or a member of your family, then please contact our team today.
Schedule a New Visit Soon!
Our team would like to help you maintain a strong and healthy smile. To learn more about preventive and general dental care, then schedule a consultation by calling Jeffrey Leibowitz, DDS, in Astoria, NY, today at 718-728-8320.