7 Ways To Keep Your Teeth Healthy
Having good, healthy teeth won’t just supply you with a good smile, this maintenance also plays an important role in your overall health. Your mouth acts as the entry point for your digestive and respiratory tract, so it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene to prevent diseases — both in your mouth and throughout your body. Here are seven tips for keeping your teeth clean and healthy.
1. Brush your teeth twice a day
When it comes to clean teeth, this is the most obvious piece of advice – one we as a society try to ingrain in children from an early age. But the harsh reality is that it tops the list because many of us neglect to brush our teeth at night, which means we’re not washing away the plaque and germs that have built up throughout the day. Make sure you’re taking your time and brushing correctly, making circular movements and reaching all sides of your teeth. Also, don’t forget about your tongue! Doing so removes bacteria that causes bad breath.
2. Use toothpaste with fluoride
A quick visit to the toothpaste aisle reveals dozens of options: those for sensitive teeth, extra-strength whitening and even those that contain charcoal. Dentists agree, though, that the most important component in toothpaste is fluoride, so make sure that whatever you’re buying contains this ingredient. While it regularly undergoes public scrutiny for those worried about its health impacts, experts agree that in small doses fluoride is safe and is the leading defense against tooth decay.
3. Make flossing part of your nightly regimen
Though it adds another step to your nightly routine, flossing is an important part of keeping your teeth clean and healthy. By removing food, plaque and bacteria that your toothbrush misses, flossing once a day adds another layer of defense against long term problems. Additionally, gently pushing the floss down the side of your teeth to the gumline helps build stronger gums, helping to keep that tissue healthy.
4. Go to the dentist regularly
Though it may not be your favorite appointment on your calendar, visiting the dentist one of the best ways to check for and monitor any concerns about your teeth’s health. Experts recommend that everyone see a dentist twice a year, which is often the number of visits covered by insurance. During these visits, dental hygienists will give your teeth a deeper cleaning to remove any hardened plaque. At these appointments, staff will also take X-rays and check for signs of cavities and oral diseases. All of this helps ensure that your daily habits are working and that nothing alarming goes unnoticed.
5. Avoid sugary, acidic foods and drink more water
It’s no surprise that the things you eat affect the long-term health of your teeth and mouth. Consuming sugar can lead to cavities and other dental problems because the food that lingers in your mouth breaks down into acid-producing bacteria, which can cause tooth decay. Acidic foods, too, can erode tooth enamel. While it’s not necessary to cut these foods out of your diet completely, it’s important to be mindful of their impact and try your best to reduce eating them as best as you can. Also, drinking water is a great way to complement your dental health. Not only does it help to keep your body hydrated, but it also helps to wash your mouth of these sugary and acidic foods.
6. Consider using a daily mouthwash
Studies show that using mouthwash at least once a day proves beneficial to your oral health. Mouthwash works by reducing the amount of acid in your mouth and re-mineralizing your teeth, which essentially brings everything back into balance. It also reduces bad breath and cleans the parts of your mouth that are hardest to reach.
Though it shouldn’t act as a substitute for brushing or flossing, using mouthwash is another way to help you achieve healthy teeth.
7. Don’t smoke
Sometimes, the expert advice for maintaining good oral health mimics expert advice for good overall health. While smoking tobacco products is bad for your body’s immune system and lungs, it is also bad for your teeth and oral hygiene. Smoking makes you more prone to developing yellow teeth and is named as one of the risk factors for gum disease.
In the end, it’s worth taking another look at your oral healthcare habits to see where you can make improvements. While it might mean a few extra steps for you, you’re sure to see the benefit in the long run. Your teeth have to last you for decades, so it’s important that you take the steps to ensure that they’re strong and healthy.