As a generation, Millennials have some of the worst teeth, even though dental technology is more advanced today than it's ever been before. Some of that can be blamed on a lack of access to dental care – high costs and a lack of dental insurance options combine to make it hard for Millennials to see a dentist as often as they should. But part of the problem also rests with Millennials own dental hygiene. For example, studies show that one-third of Millennials only brush their teeth once a day. Dental health and physical health are closely linked, and poor dental health now can lead to overall poor health later. If you're a Millennial and you're worried about your dental health, take a look at what you can do to take better care of your teeth starting today.
Up Your Brushing Game
If you're in the one-third of the Millennial generation that brushes only once a day, it's time to step up your game. Most dentists recommend brushing at least twice a day – in the morning and in the evening before bed. Try setting an alarm on your phone to help you remember to brush until it becomes a habit.
You may also want to switch up your toothbrush. If you're still using a regular brush, try switching to an electric brush instead. Some dental professionals say that they can see a distinct difference between the patients who use an electric toothbrush and the patients who don't. Especially if you don't see a dentist as often as you'd like or if your dental hygiene has previously been poor, switching to an electric toothbrush may help you improve your oral health.
Be Persistent in Seeking Out Dental Care
Don't give up on seeing a dentist just because you don't have dental insurance. Regular dental visits are vital for your dental health, and it's worth being persistent and thinking outside the box in order to get the dental care that you need.
Your city, county, or state may provide dental care resources for low-income citizens. If you can't afford dental care on your own, it's worth checking out local resources to see if you qualify. There are credit services that provide financing specifically for healthcare or dental care treatments or procedures, and those might be a good option for you as well. Some dentists also provide their own financing or installment plans. And keep in mind that preventative treatments and early interventions is an investment in your long-term health. Paying for a cleaning or filling now can prevent you from having to pay for a more expensive root canal or tooth replacement later.
Eat a Tooth-Healthy Diet
You have to eat, so why not choose foods that will help you achieve your goal of better tooth health? Most people have a good idea of what foods to avoid, such as sticky, sugary candies that can cause cavities or very hard foods that can break a tooth. But you can also seek out foods that will improve your tooth health.
For example, crunchy fruits and vegetables like carrots and apples have a scrubbing effect on your teeth that will help keep them clean, making them a good snack option when you're away from your toothbrush. Eating cheese after a meal helps raise the pH balance in your mouth, which means your mouth will be less acidic. Acid can eat away at your tooth enamel, so this is a good way to protect it. Foods that are high in calcium, like leafy green vegetables, help your teeth by strengthening your tooth enamel.
In an ideal world, everyone would be able to receive affordable dental care whenever they need to. But even if your dental healthcare situation is less than ideal, there are plenty of things that you can do to take good care of your teeth. Contact a dentist for more help.