The health of your teeth is just as important as the health of the rest of your body. Thus, keeping your teeth strong should be part of your daily routine as you’ll be less likely to experience issues such as tooth decay and cavities. Moreover, having poor oral hygiene may put you at risk of acquiring illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer (pancreatic and oropharyngeal), Alzheimer’s, dementia, osteoporosis, and even pregnancy problems.
To avoid experiencing these, as well as improve your dental health, here are some tips you can follow:
Visit Your Dentist
This is one of the most necessary steps when it comes to taking care of your teeth. Having a checkup with your dentist at least every six months will enable them to detect and address dental issues before they turn into complications that would require more complex procedures. Your dentist can also help you maintain your oral hygiene by cleaning your teeth and getting rid of plaque that might be difficult to remove with regular brushing and flossing.
Dentists such as those from the Family Dental Health Center have the equipment and skills to check the overall condition of your mouth, detect problems early, and come up with treatment options. The sooner these oral problems are detected, the better chances you’ll have in enjoying a healthy mouth.
Your dentist plays a vital role in improving your dental health, which is why you should start looking for one right away. You can ask for recommendations from your friends and family, or do a quick search online to know who your options are.
Brush Your Teeth Regularly
It goes without saying that you must brush your teeth at least twice a day to maintain and improve your dental health. If possible, make it a point to brush your teeth thrice a day, or after every meal. Brush your teeth thoroughly for a whole two minutes to be sure you’re eliminating bacteria, germs, and plaque.
But knowing how many times in a day you should brush your teeth isn’t enough; you should also know how to brush properly because brushing your teeth the wrong way can lead to bleeding gums, or prevent you from removing plaque in your mouth.
Here’s how to properly brush your teeth:
- Pay attention to the angle of your toothbrush as you’re brushing your teeth. Ideally, your toothbrush should be at a 45-degree angle towards your gum line.
- Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste whenever you brush.
- Clean your teeth in a gentle circular motion. Make sure to follow the same when you’re cleaning the inside surfaces.
- When cleaning the chewing surfaces of your teeth, follow a light back-and-forth motion to remove food particles.
Alongside brushing your teeth, flossing is also important to do. After brushing your teeth, follow it up with a good floss to remove any excess plaque or bacteria. Be sure to do slow and gentle motions when flossing in order to avoid injuring your gums. Not only will this clean your teeth more thoroughly, but this would also help stimulate your gums by allowing for better blood flow and reducing the possibility of developing gingivitis.
Use Fluoride Toothpaste
When brushing your teeth, it’s best to use fluoride toothpaste as it helps prevent the formation of cavities and strengthens your teeth. It also helps prevent any early stages of tooth decay. Moreover, using a fluoride toothpaste regularly is a great way to improve your dental health as this can rebuild weak enamel, slow down the loss of minerals from tooth enamel, and reverse the early signs of tooth decay.
Consider Using Mouthwash
Although it’s not mandatory, using mouthwash after brushing helps keep your breath fresh, removes plaque and particles, fights cavities, and may even cure canker sores. Some types of mouthwash may even reduce teeth sensitivity and gingivitis.
For you to get the most benefits when using mouthwash, be sure to brush your teeth first. If you’re going to use a fluoride toothpaste, wait for a couple of minutes because using mouthwash can wash away the fluoride in your mouth.
When deciding how much mouthwash to use, utilize the cup provided in the product (which is usually the cap of the bottle), empty the cup in your mouth, gargle for 30 seconds, and then spit.
Limit Sugar-Filled Food
If you can, limit your intake of sugary food as much as possible to keep your teeth healthy and strong. Eating sugary food like sour candies and bread, or excessively drinking sugary beverages such as alcohol and soft drinks can adversely affect your dental health as these contain acid that attack your enamel, the hard the surface of your tooth. These acids can eventually cause bacterial infections that can lead to cavities.
Although it can be challenging at first, it’s vital that you have the discipline to limit consuming sugary foods and drinks. Brushing and flossing regularly will be useless if you still continue to snack on sugary treats every single day.
If you’re having a hard time limiting your consumption of sugary foods and drinks, the following tips can come in handy:
- Check the products you’re buying and limit your intake of anything that has “hidden” sugars on its labels.
- Limited between-meal snacks. If you get an urge to snack, pick healthier choices such as frozen fruits and vegetable sticks.
- Sticky and chewy varieties of candies should be avoided as these stay in your mouth for long periods.
- Avoid drinking carbonated drinks and opt to consume more water and fruit juices instead.
Keep Your Teeth For Chewing
Some people tend to open packaging or crack nuts with their teeth. While this might sometimes be an easier or faster way, this isn’t helpful for your dental health.
As much as possible, only use your teeth for eating. When you badly need to open something, use the appropriate tools like scissors or nutcrackers. This keeps you from straining your teeth and prevents you from losing them.
Limit Acidic Food And Drinks
Consuming acidic food and drinks can cause your teeth to decay, become more sensitive, and develop discoloration. While many delicious types of food fall under this category, you should limit your intake of them.
Acidic food and beverages include:
Limiting acidic food and drinks in your diet is essential, which is why you should consider eating or drinking healthier options. Some of the best low-acid foods and drinks you can add in your diet are soy such as tofu and soy beans, quinoa, herbal teas, and unsweetened milk and yoghurt. You can also consume more chia seeds as these are known as alkaline foods that can lower your acid intake and protect your oral health.
Routinely Change Your Toothbrush
Toothbrushes aren’t designed to last forever. As recommended by dentists, change your toothbrush every three or four months. This is important to prevent bacteria from building up in in the bristles that can adversely affect your oral health and well-being in the long run.
Moreover, continuing to use an old toothbrush will only harm your gums. An old toothbrush will usually have weak or even missing bristles, and can create friction when used. This can result to bleeding gums. And since an old toothbrush can become the breeding ground for bacteria, continuing to use such will make it easy for bacteria to enter your mouth, especially when your gums are punctured.
Using an old toothbrush with weak bristles won’t guarantee a clean mouth, as well. An old toothbrush with frayed bristles can no longer remove plaque and bacteria from your mouth. Over time, this can lead to more serious dental problems such as gingivitis, cavities, and even tooth loss.
Drink Plenty Of Water
It’s common knowledge that drinking water is an important step to achieving optimal health and wellness, but do you know that water can also do wonders to your dental health?
Listed below are some of the reasons why drinking plenty of water every day can improve your dental health:
- Strengthens your teeth: Water contains fluoride that can strengthen your teeth.
- Keeps your mouth clean: Drinking soda and sports drinks might help you wash down your last meal, but these can leave unwanted sugar in your teeth. As mentioned, these sugars can eventually cause dental problems.If you don’t want any of these to happen, swap your sodas and sports drinks for water. Unlike these sugary drinks, water cleans your mouth since it washes away leftover food. Water also dilutes the acid that is naturally produced by the bacteria in your mouth, keeping your enamel healthy.
- Fights dry mouth: Your saliva plays a vital role in your oral health because it acts as your mouth’s first defense against cavities. Your saliva also helps you swallow with ease, washes away leftover food, and keeps your teeth strong by washing them with fluoride and calcium.Drinking plenty of water can prevent your saliva supply from running low and lessen your risk of tooth decay.
Taking care of your dental health is crucial as the condition and longevity of your teeth depend on it. Not only will you be able to keep your teeth longer, but you’ll also be less susceptible to gum disease or other illnesses that may be caused by poor oral health.
If you want to improve your dental health, start now by incorporating the tips presented in this article to your daily routine. The sooner you adapt to these tips, the sooner you can achieve a healthier mouth!