A great smile starts with you! It is important that you care for your teeth daily, not just the day before your cleaning appointment! Your dental hygienist can tell whether or not you have been appropriately taking care of your teeth and gums. As your mouth is a pretty accurate reflection of your current oral and overall health, regular care is needed.
There are many steps you can take to achieve excellent oral health, from foods to drinks to actions. Routinely implementing and maintaining the following tips will help you obtain that healthy smile you deserve.
Keeping hydrated is key to a healthy mouth and body. Dry mouth can lead to a buildup of plaque and food debris. Water flushes away food particles and harmful bacteria, in turn, fighting cavities and gum disease. Water also aids in diluting acids from foods and drinks, protecting your teeth and preventing the erosion of your enamel.
Did you know that you miss 40% of the tooth’s surface if you do not floss?! Flossing helps to remove plaque from below the gum line as opposed to brushing which only helps to remove plaque above the gum line. Built up plaque and gingivitis are tell-tale signs that show you have not been flossing as often as you should! In most cases, gingivitis usually clears up within 1 to 2 weeks, as long as you are brushing twice daily, using mouthwash, and flossing every night.
Clean and replace your toothbrush regularly
Rinsing your toothbrush at the end of each use with warm water helps to wash away any remaining bacteria, saliva, and toothpaste. Make sure to replace your toothbrush or brush head if you have an electric toothbrush every three months. Doing so will prevent bacteria build-up in the bristles.
Skip sugary drinks/snacks
Sugar mixes with the bacteria in your mouth to create plaque. This increase in plaque can then lead to the formation of cavities. Cavities affect the pulp of the tooth, possibly leading to toothaches, sensitivity, and headaches. Check out our blog “4 tips to cut down on sugar” to gain ideas on how to cut down on the sugars that harm your teeth.
Use Mouthwash with Fluoride
Check out our previous blog “Fluoride Myths and Facts” for an extensive list on why using fluoride is so important! In this blog we will point out the key reasons. Fluoride not only prevents tooth decay, but it also reverses early decay by speeding remineralization and disrupting acid production. The mouthwash itself will also aid in preventing tooth decay by killing any harmful bacteria residing in your mouth.
Did you know smokers are three to six times more likely to develop gum disease?! Gum disease has also been linked to other health problems not involving the teeth, such as heart disease and diabetes. This is a result of extreme gum inflammation entering the bloodstream over a long period of time, slowly damaging blood vessels in the heart and brain.
Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet filled with vitamins and nutrients, can reduce your risk of enamel erosion and cavities. Calcium is a nutrient vital for leaving you with a strong and healthy smile!
Routinely visit your dentist
Most importantly, it is essential you visit your dentist minimally once a year. At your routine cleaning, your dentist or dental hygienist will ensure that there are no new abnormalities or problem areas in your mouth.