Valentine’s Day is all about love. At VSP, we know that means love for yourself and all your body’s parts, too. A bright smile is just one way to show and feel that self-love. Be ready for a lot of Valentine’s Day smiles — and smiles every day, no matter what the occasion! Here are four dental care tips to keep your teeth and gums happy.
Dentists will often suggest cutting down on drinks that contain sugar, or those that can stain your teeth like wine and coffee. But they might miss the boat on giving you a strong recommendation for the best beverage around: water. Choose still or sparkling, plain or with a wedge of lemon or a slice of cucumber. Water of all kinds is great, but tap water deserves special mention, as fluoridated water can help strengthen your enamel. And, of course, drinking water instead of other beverages will help prevent new plaque buildup and stains.
Years ago I heard a great bit of healthy mouth advice that’s the perfect mix of clever with a dose of seriousness: “You only have to floss the teeth you want to keep.” The original source might be lost in the depths of the internet and library stacks, but the genius is still there. Flossing is crucial to your dental health. Like brushing, it works best when you do it consistently, thoroughly, AND gently. Kudos if you remember how to wind dental floss around your fingers, but you’ll still get credit if you use those flossing picks.
We all know to brush twice daily, but don’t think your brushing time is also time to strengthen your forearms and biceps. Gentle is the way to go for enamel and gum health. Use a soft-bristled brush (even kids’ brushes can be fun and extra soft!), go easy on your gums, and replace your brush every 3-4 months.
This tip is pretty self-explanatory. By stopping cigarette smoking, you both improve your gum and mouth health, and also help improve your breath and (ahem) your kissability. And hey, it’s not Valentine’s Day without at least a shout-out to one of humanity’s most fun activities.
Many of us have been delaying dental care over the last year, and that could lead to more serious problems when you do go back. But you’ll need to make your own decision about when you feel okay visiting your dentist. If you are following our tips for dental care during self-isolation, you’re off to a good start.
Take note if your teeth and gums have the signs of good health, like:
- No tenderness or bleeding
- Firm and pink (depending on your complexion)
- Snug fit around your teeth, no noticeable receding
If yes, keep up your healthy teeth and gum-love habits, and schedule your dentist visit as soon as you’re ready. If no, still keep using these tips, but also plan to see your dentist soon.
No matter what, make sure you have dental insurance that will help you care for your smile. Whether it’s getting a filling replaced, or some extra deep cleaning time, dental insurance can help you reduce the out-of-pocket costs of keeping your mouth healthy.
VSP Individual Vision Plans partners with Guardian to help provide you a dental insurance option to get the dental care coverage you need.