Make Your Smile a Priority in 2018

We have all made New Year’s resolutions at some point in our lives. Many of these

annual vows revolve around improving our health.  Typical resolutions may include losing weight, quitting smoking, or beginning an exercise routine, but what about our oral health? The New Year is also a good time to commit ourselves to better dental care.

Make 2018 the year you look to improve your smile. Some ways to help you meet this goal include:

  • Practice Good Oral Hygiene – Daily brushing and flossing is a simple way to improve your oral health. For successful bacterial plaque removal, it is important to brush at least twice a day and floss at least once per day to remove bacterial plaque and food that has accumulated throughout the day. Daily brushing and flossing help to prevent gingivitis (gum disease), tooth decay and halitosis (bad breath). The daily use of antimicrobial and fluoride mouth rinses also helps to improve your oral health.
  • Watch What You Eat and Drink – An important part of achieving your dental health resolutions is making healthier food and beverage choices, especially for snacks. Frequent consumption of food and beverages containing carbohydrates and acids contributes to tooth decay.
  • Quit Smoking – Quitting cigarette smoking and smokeless tobacco use is important for improving your oral and overall health. There is no better time than the present to make a resolution to stop tobacco use. Consider free online tools, smoking cessation groups, progress-tracking apps and support from friends and family to assist you with tobacco cessation.
  • Use Whitening Products – There are several over-the-counter smile-improving products that you
    can use to whiten your teeth when you brush and floss. In recent years, tooth whitening has acquired enormous popularity because they can enhance the appearance of teeth by removing deep (intrinsic) or surface (extrinsic) stains.
  • Receive Regular Check-Ups – A resolution to make routine visits to the dentist may help prevent oral disease or reveal an existing disease in its early stage. Dental visits should take place every six months to allow your dentist and dental hygienists to monitor the condition of your oral cavity and develop an appropriate treatment plan to meet your wants and needs.

Some however might need to make more than a few lifestyle changes to address their dental needs. For those, a dentist or orthodontist can help. Make this the year you stop putting off having dental work done. An orthodontist can correct an overbite or straighten crooked teeth and a dentist can address your need for crowns, implants or fillings to preserve your tooth structure.

To make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Dental Center, please call 718-206-6980.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Cavity Prevention for Children

Toothpaste Dental cavities can be prevented for most children. To keep those pearly whites pearly it takes being mindful about eating, drinking and brushing habits along with being knowledgeable about your child’s water supply. Remember, every time we eat or drink something that contains sugar or starches, bacteria in our mouth uses the sugar and starch to produce acids. These acids begin to eat away at the tooth’s enamel. Our saliva can help fight off this acid attack unless there are a lot of foods high in starch and sugar in your diet. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on how often your children eat as well as what they eat.

A key source in strengthening teeth against cavities is fluoride. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste is important for preventing cavities. Most bottled water does not contain enough fluoride to prevent tooth decay. If your child drinks only bottled water, speak with a dentist about whether your child needs additional fluoride in the form of a vitamin, varnish, or gel.

Young children cannot get their teeth clean by themselves. For children aged two to six, it is recommended that an adult puts the toothpaste on the brush. Use only a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.Try brushing your child’s teeth first, then let him/her finish.  Until they are seven or eight years old, you will need to help your child brush.

Encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste rather than swallow it. Children under six years old tend to swallow much of the toothpaste on their brush. If children regularly consume higher-than-recommended amounts of fluoride during the teeth-forming years (age eight and younger), their permanent teeth may develop white lines or flecks called dental fluorosis. Fluorosis is usually mild; in many cases, only a dental professional would notice it. (In children under age two, dental experts recommend that you do not use fluoride toothpaste unless directed by a dentist.)

It is recommended that children see their dentist every six months for regular check-ups and cavity prevention. To make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-6980.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.