Tips To Avoid The Dentist’s Office

Dr. Christopher Li Etobicoke - Li Family Dental

By Dr. Christopher Li

February 19, 2024


You can trust us when we say we know most of our patients try to avoid visiting our office like the plague! And that’s okay. We get it, as long as it doesn’t prevent you from receiving proper care. In fact, we’re happy to share tips to avoid the dentist’s office even though it means we won’t get to see you as often! Here’s how to keep dental visits to a minimum.

Tips To Avoid The Dentist’s Office – Improve Your Home Oral Hygiene Routine

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A consistent oral hygiene routine at home is the first step toward reducing your dental visits with us. By removing as much plaque as possible through daily brushing and flossing, you help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Although this sounds simple, you’d be surprised how many patients fail to follow this basic rule of thumb. Also, many patients think they’re following a good oral hygiene routine but are unknowingly sabotaging their own oral care, putting their oral health at risk. Some common issues include:

  • Skipping your nightly dental routine because you’re tired
  • Not taking advice from your hygienist to target problem areas where plaque tends to build up
  • Not using fluoride toothpaste
  • Not flossing often enough (or at all)
  • Not using a good mouthwash to rinse out debris after flossing and brushing

Do all these things instead of skipping them to avoid going to the dentist, and you’ll enjoy improved oral health as your reward.

 Choose Better Drinks

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Trading in sugary, carbonated, and sports/energy drinks for water is an excellent way to reduce your dental visits. Why? Because water is sugar-free, acid-free, keeps you hydrated, and reduces harmful oral bacteria by keeping your mouth moist and flushing away food debris.

The simple act of drinking water acts as a natural flushing process, so you reduce the food particles in your mouth that cause acid and eat away at your enamel. You reduce plaque and increase lost minerals like calcium and phosphate, restoring tooth health. All of this adds up to healthier teeth and gums and fewer dental treatments. 

Make Healthier Snack Choices

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We hate sugar. Well, that’s probably not true. It’s more like we hate how sugar impacts oral health. This is because sugar turns into acid on your teeth and erodes your tooth enamel. Enamel erosion exposes the soft dentin, which means you are more likely to get cavities. If you avoid sugar and make healthier snack choices, you reduce acids in your mouth caused by sugar-related bacteria, helping your enamel stay strong.

But it’s not just sugar that’s the culprit. Acidic foods like citrus fruits, tea and coffee also damage enamel. Now, we know it’s unreasonable to say you can never have sugar. For example, that bit of sugar in your coffee won’t cause instant cavities. However, there are things you can do to limit the damage of sugar and acidic foods and drinks, including:

  • Limit your intake as much as possible
  • Enjoy sugar as dessert following a meal when your mouth is producing more saliva to reduce acids
  • Rinse your mouth out with water after enjoying sugary, acidic foods and drinks
  • Use a straw when sipping sugary drinks
  • Chew a piece of sugar-free gum to reduce sugar cravings and restore the condition of your teeth while keeping your mouth moist to reduce acids
  • Avoid sticky candies and dried fruit that stick to your teeth and produce more acids
  • Avoid starchy foods like soft breads and potato chips because they like to find their way to places between your teeth and settle there
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks that dry your mouth, or drink water with your cocktails, wine, and beer to rinse out acid and stay hydrated
  • Choose fibre-rich raw fruits and vegetables as a healthy snack to strengthen teeth and gums, increase saliva production, and clean debris from your teeth naturally
  • Enjoy more cheese, milk, plain yogurt, and other dairy products to increase your calcium and phosphate intake and restore minerals that help rebuild tooth enamel
  • Drink green and black teas to kill or reduce bacteria
  • Curb sweet cravings by eating 70% cacao dark chocolate which has less sugar and more health benefits than candy
  • Limit between-meal snacks, or snack on something nutritious like dairy products, healthy berries, or raw veggie sticks 

Support Your Immune System

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Although most people know a healthy immune system keeps them from getting sick, they don’t realize it also helps them maintain good oral health. You can support your immune system in several ways. For example, you can enjoy anti-inflammatory foods to reduce inflammation in your gums, like olive oil, strawberries, cherries, nuts, fish, and fresh greens. While you increase your intake of anti-inflammatory foods, you should also avoid foods that cause inflammation, like refined carbs, processed meats, and sugar. There are also foods, herbs and spices you can use to add more flavour to meals that also boost your immune system, like fresh garlic and turmeric.

Drinking herbal and green teas helps, as do supplements such as echinacea and ginseng. Exercise is also important as it improves circulation and helps you maintain a healthy weight. Even taking a 20-minute walk every day helps. Exercise also helps you sleep better, which helps support a healthy immune system. Avoiding stress is important; find something you enjoy, such as yoga or meditation, to help stay calmer. Your oral health also plays a role in your immune system, as harmful oral bacteria can enter your bloodstream, causing inflammation and health conditions. This is why it’s so important for your immune system to maintain excellent oral health. 

See Your Dentist Twice A Year 

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Yes, we know we’re supposed to be sharing ways to reduce your dental appointments. However, regular dental checkups should be the two most important dental appointments you schedule. Because your checkups provide an exam and dental cleaning, you will a) catch issues early and b) remove the plaque and tartar that cause gum disease and tooth decay. So, the appointments you do have with us are focused on prevention as opposed to treatment. It’s a good strategy!

Give us a call at 416-232-2033 or request an appointment by clicking here.

Dr. Christopher Li

About the author

Doctor Christopher Li, DDS
Dr. Chris, as he is affectionately known, is a licensed dentist with over 20 years experience. His caring personality makes even the most tentative person at ease. Patients are constantly commenting about how Dr. Chris is incredible at delivering pain-free freezing, and how he has an amazing chair-side manner.  Dr. Chris loves sharing information with his patients and everyone who has teeth about how to care for their teeth, avoid tooth decay, and the treatments available to help them overcome their tooth pain or other dental issues so they can enjoy life and food to its fullest!

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