An important but often overlooked facet of personal health is dental health. In addition to brushing and flossing daily, here are some things to do to optimize your overall health.

Make an Appointment

Do you have your next dental check-up and hygiene appointment scheduled? If not, do that this week. If you’ve been meaning to see a specialist but haven’t gotten around to it, call this week to schedule an appointment and check that item off your to-do list.

Replace Your Toothbrush

The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or more frequently if your brush shows wear and tear, yet many people go a lot longer with the same brush. You’ll know it’s time to replace your brush when the bristles are splayed.

Add a Step to Your Routine

In addition to brushing and flossing daily, consider including a rinse to your routine. Unlike mouthwashes, which are primarily designed to fight bad breath, a therapeutic mouth rinse is designed to strengthen teeth and fight gum disease.

Start Wearing Your Retainer or Night Guard Again

If you have a night guard or retainer that you’re supposed to use but have neglected, it’s time to get back into the habit of wearing it. Failing to wear your retainer as directed by your orthodontist can lead to teeth drifting out of alignment over time, while failing to wear your night guard may lead to cracked or chipped teeth from night grinding.

Quit Tobacco

What does tobacco have to do with dental health? A lot. Not only does tobacco use (cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco) stain teeth yellow over time, it also reduces saliva flow which can contribute to tooth decay, increases the risk of gum disease, and increases the risk of oral cancer. Quitting tobacco is one of the best things you can do for your health, period.

Dental Health 24/7/365

Considering how closely tied dental health and overall health are, it’s vital to take care of your teeth and gums all year. Hopefully, these tips will help you take your dental health to an even higher level.