As downtown Pensacola continues to grow, we thought it would be a good idea to write up a dental health guide for working professionals. If you’re a busy professional in the downtown area, maintaining your oral health can pose a challenge! Office environments can be very stressful and the work hours can be unpredictable. Whether your job is fast-paced or slow-moving, professional demands can easily lead to unhealthy dental habits. Additionally, offices are notorious for unhealthy snack options, and small indulgences can add up to major teeth and gum issues. It’s no surprise that keeping your oral health on track can feel overwhelming in the midst of managing your professional life, but it doesn’t have to be a burden! Let’s look at 10 easy ways that you can maintain a healthy smile even in the busiest of professions.
#1 – Skip the sugar in your coffee
If you like to have multiple cups of coffee throughout the day, adding cream will not hurt your teeth (the calcium in dairy is actually good for your enamel!), but sugar will quickly result in decay. It’s not uncommon to sip on coffee drinks during a work day, but doing this when sugar is added is asking for cavities. If coffee is a necessity for you, adjust to only adding cream or just drinking it black. Limiting your sugar intake should be top priority, as refined sugar is the biggest contributor to dental cavities and should be restricted as much as possible.
#2 – Stock your space with nutritious snacks
Some foods rise above the others when it comes to dental benefits. Crunchy veggie sticks such as carrots and celery carry vitamins that boost oral health, and their fibrous texture actually aids in scrubbing away plaque and debris. The calcium and phosphorous in cheese remineralizes your teeth, so keeping small cheese squares on hand is a great option. Lastly, you can never go wrong with fruit and nuts. Crunchy fruit such as apples helps stimulate saliva production, and fruit such as strawberry and watermelon are very high in vitamin C. Be careful with acidic fruits, as they can actually erode your enamel if eaten too often. If you need more ideas, check out some of the best foods for your teeth.
#3 – Schedule check-ups for your lunch hour
For working professionals, the main excuse for not going to the dentist is the assumption that a check-up appointment will take too much time out of their day. In reality, dental check-ups can be done within a lunch hour! Also, your appointment will definitely take less time if you are keeping up a consistent oral health routine at home and maintaining regular visits twice a year. So if you’re looking for a dentist in downtown Pensacola, give us a call at 850-495-2999 to schedule a lunchtime appointment!
#4 – If dental work is needed, schedule it right away
If your dentist advises you on a treatment plan, make sure to schedule it that day. It can be so tempting to wait, mainly because it’s hard to know your schedule so far in advance. But if something does come up, you can always reschedule! Making an appointment before you leave the dentist office guarantees that you’ll at least be reminded about you dental work in the future, even if you end up having to change the appointment. This also assures that an important dental visit won’t be relegated to the seemingly ever-growing to-do list you’ve been working on! Delaying treatment is never a good idea for a busy professional, as it will inevitably end up costing you many more office-hours down the road.
#5 – Keep a pocket-sized dental hygiene kit at your desk
This is a very simple way to safeguard your oral health regimen! Sometimes you may be running out of the house and forget to brush your teeth in the morning, or working very late and fall into bed before you brush and floss at night. Keeping a small kit that includes a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss handy will guarantee that you’re never without the essentials. Additionally, if you get something stuck in your teeth during the course of the day, you don’t have to wait to dislodge it if you have floss nearby.
#6 – Refill your water bottle throughout the day
Sipping on water consistently during the day serves many functions in boosting your oral health. Filling up on water helps to curb unhealthy food cravings. It also flushes out food debris and bacteria that will eventually turn into plaque. Lastly, hydration combats dry mouth, which is the enemy of healthy teeth and gums. According to the NIH, dry mouth is a very serious dental issue. Not only can it cause tooth decay, but it can also lead to infection.
#7 – If you indulge in a sweet treat, eat it quickly
As tempting as it is to linger over a doughnut or piece of cake from a coworker’s birthday party, letting sugar sit on your teeth for long periods of time is one of the worst dental mistakes you can make. It’s not necessary to cut dessert from your diet completely, just make sure to take the right steps if you do indulge. Eating it in one sitting and rinsing with water afterwards will go a long way in preventing decay-causing bacteria from doing any harm.
#8 – Chew sugar-free gum to ward off mid-afternoon cravings
You’re more likely to reach for a candy bar during those last few hours of the workday when fatigue has set in and it’s harder to focus. It may not hit the spot completely, but chewing on a piece of sugar-free gum can really help curb those sugar cravings. Chewing gum also stimulates saliva, fighting dry mouth.
#9 – Get rid of the smoke break
Smoke breaks are a common stress-reliever for many workplace professionals, but a smoking habit is detrimental to oral health for a number of reasons. Dry mouth, tooth rot, gum infection, an even oral cancer can all result from smoking, so make it a priority to kick the habit. Our advice is to find an alternative way to relieve stress (such as exercising, stretching, reading a book, listening to a podcast, or taking a walk), and incorporate that into your workday routine. This way you are replacing a bad habit with a good habit.
#10 – Invest in a whitening treatment
A bright smile goes a long way in boosting self-confidence as you interact with people during your workday. If you love the look of your smile, you will be more likely to take care of it. We provide both in-office and at-home teeth whitening in our downtown office, so you can brighten your teeth at your own convenience.
Downtown Pensacola is a thriving area for professionals to both work and socialize, and a great smile can give you the confidence you need to connect with others in both settings! There are plenty of ways to keep your oral health top-notch, even while you are constantly on the go and working long hours. Whether it’s been years since your last dentist visit or you are just looking to schedule your next bi-annual check-up, don’t wait to set an appointment. Call our office today, conveniently located in the heart of downtown, and we can work together to make your oral health the best it can be.