We sometimes forget how important our teeth are and don’t take adequate care of them. Our smile would not be the same, and our confidence level would decrease. Not to mention that oral health has an impact on our general health, contributing to conditions like diabetes, endocarditis and cardiovascular disease.
There are several easy ways to get on the right path to having healthy teeth. We have gathered together 12 tips to improve the health and appearance of your smile.
1. Brush at least twice a day
Brush your teeth at least, twice daily, every morning and night. If possible also brush your teeth after every meal to prevent bacteria from building up. You should brush for a total of 2 to 3 minutes.
2. Brush carefully
The American Dental Association has specific instructions on how to brush your teeth. Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and gently move the brush back and forth in short circular strokes. Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of your teeth. However, when cleaning the inside surfaces of the front teeth tilt your brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
3. Acquire the right toothbrush
There are soft, medium and hard toothbrushes. Most dentists recommend a soft or medium toothbrush, since hard bristles can damage tooth enamel or gum tissue over time. Many patients also find it difficult to decide between a manual toothbrush and an electric toothbrush— the truth is that the type of toothbrush doesn’t make as much of a difference as consistency and proper technique. Always choose nylon bristles over natural, and replace your toothbrush every 3 months and any time after an illness like cold or flu.
4. Use fluoridated products
Using a mouthwash, toothpaste, and dental floss that contain fluoride helps harden tooth enamel making them more resistant to plaque and sugars, reducing the risk of tooth decay.
5. Tongue brushing
Bacteria accumulates in the small crevices of the tongue, since it is not a smooth surface. Bacteria remains on the surface of the tongue until it is scraped off, therefore, tongue brushing is essential in keeping healthy teeth as well as stopping bad breath.
6. Floss your teeth daily
Flossing daily helps remove bacteria and plaque that accumulates between teeth. If you notice blood or inflammation brought on by flossing, visit your dentist. To floss properly, wrap the ends of the dental floss around the index fingers of each hand and floss between and around each tooth. Here are more tips on how to floss properly.
7. Limit intake of acidic drinks
Some acidic drinks include soft drinks, fruit juices and wine. Acidic drinks dissolve away the enamel of your teeth, leading to tooth sensitivity and cavities over time. If you must consume an acidic drink it is recommended you use a straw, and drink water after to neutralize some of the acid.
8. Limit sugary foods
Sugary foods can lead to tooth decay. Be conscious of what you consume by reading nutrition facts and labels, making wise decisions, and choosing options low in sugar. Keep in mind that starchy foods like pasta and bread break down into sugar in your saliva.
9. Fill up on essential vitamins
Vitamins A, C, D and K, and minerals calcium, magnesium and phosphorus support healthy muscles, hair, bones, immune systems, and are also very good for keeping teeth and gums healthy. Consuming the right nutrients for your teeth and gums helps you resist infections and reduce the probability of decay and gum disease.
10. Only use your teeth to chew food
Do not use your teeth to crack nuts, bite your nails, open packages, or remove bottle tops. Otherwise, you run the risk of chipping, breaking or eroding your teeth from pressure.
11. Protect your teeth from injury
Wear a mouth guard, face cage, or a helmet when playing sports or trying a dangerous activity. If for whatever reason your tooth gets knocked out, rinse it and place it back in its socket if possible, or hold it inside your mouth. If it is not possible to place the tooth back in its socket, store it in milk until you get to the dentist. You can make a same-day emergency appointment here.
12. Visit the dentist every 6 months
It is recommended that you visit your dentist at least 2 times a year for a cleaning, and more frequently if you have an illness such as gum disease or extensive tooth decay. If you are experiencing toothache or bleeding gums make an appointment as soon as possible, your dentist can help manage and treat the symptoms and cause.
If you experience tooth pain, or need an affordable teeth cleaning or any other dental service make your appointment to see us right away. We offer convenient hours at 60+ dental office locations. Jefferson Dental accepts Medicaid and government plans, most PPO insurance plans, and offers patients with no insurance deep discounts on treatment through our Sonrisa Dental Savings Plan.