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Four habits for a healthy smile in 2020

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - You'll have reason to smile if you make better teeth part of your 2020 health goals.

Dr. Deepah Sathiah from Gundersen Health System said there are four effective habits we can all make part of our routine.

Remember to floss (not the dance)

There's no getting around it, flossing is a must when it comes to oral health. Dr. Sathiah said brushing alone cannot get into the tight spaces between teeth where plaques can form and cause dental and other health problems. Experts recommend flossing at least once a day.

Drink more tap water

Health officials recommend raising a toast to water as the best beverage for overall health. When it comes to tap water, Dr. Sathiah said it contains optimal amounts of fluoride, which strengthens teeth and reduces decay in kids and adults by about 25%.

Make room for mouthwash

Like flossing, mouthwash can reach some of the hard-to-clean areas of the mouth. While not only helping with bad breath, mouthwash can also prevent cavities and gum disease. Doctors recommend looking for ADA-approved rinses. Mouthwash is not recommended for kids under 6.

Schedule a regular exam

Whether it's been awhile, you're embarrassed about oral health or you have a healthy smile, Dr. Sathiah said make time for regular dental exams. She stressed the importance of visiting before emergency situations arise, so you and your dentist know your baseline health. Dr. Sathiah also recommends finding a dentist with whom you feel comfortable and can discuss concerns.

Dustin Luecke

Dustin Luecke anchors News 19 Daybreak weekday mornings.

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