Tips for a Healthy Mouth and Teeth
Billions of people suffer from oral health problems. And while there are many risk factors that come into play, plenty of these cases are caused by poor lifestyle and dietary habits. Perhaps you even have such practices but aren’t aware of their negative implications on your oral and dental health.
You shouldn’t wait until you need an urgent visit to a family dental service due to throbbing tooth pain, bleeding gums, or other mouth problems. Take care of your dental and oral health by doing the following:
Brush Regularly and Properly
According to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA), it takes two minutes—twice every day—to clean teeth and gums effectively. Doing that while observing proper brushing techniques prevent plaque from accumulating, which reduces the risks of damaging the teeth and gums.
To avoid damaging the enamel or the protective outer layer of the tooth, use only a soft-bristle toothbrush. Then with a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste, gently brush your teeth in a circular motion, moving back and forth on the chewing surfaces. Don’t forget to lightly scrub the tongue to eliminate germs and bacteria that cause bad breath.
Brushing alone isn’t enough to keep your teeth clean and healthy. Flossing removes plaque and food particles between the teeth that the bristles of your toothbrush can’t reach. And one study suggests the floss-brush approach is the most effective for removing plaque.
Researchers have found that flossing loosens and removes bacteria and plaque, which are then cleared from the mouth through brushing. They also discovered that fluoride, a mineral that aids in cavity prevention, remains in higher levels when plaque is removed first through flossing.
So, make it a habit to always floss before you brush your teeth. It may seem like a simple sequence that shouldn’t be given much thought, but it can make a difference when done right.
Cut Down on Sugar
You’ve probably heard that sweets and other sugary treats will destroy your teeth. And while there’s truth in that, it isn’t exactly sugar itself that causes tooth decay. Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sorbrinus, two harmful bacteria found in the mouth, feed on the sugars you eat, then produce plaque that can damage the enamel. This can result in the formation of cavities or tooth decay.
So, if you eat a lot of high-sugar snacks like cookies and potato chips, you may want to go for low-fat and fat-free dairy food, fruits, or vegetables instead. Whole grains, as well as peas, dry beans, and other lean sources of protein, are good choices, too. Cutting down on sugar can do wonders not only for your teeth but also for your overall health.
Limit Consumption of Acidic Drinks
Energy drinks, citrus fruit juices, and wines are some of the most common beverages that contain acids high enough to cause dental health problems. The acids found in such drinks dissolve some minerals that strengthen the teeth, thus weakening the enamel. Naturally, your saliva will neutralize the acid and repair the tooth mineral, but if you consume too many acidic drinks, the enamel can erode further. This may result in discoloration, sensitivity, or fracture of the teeth.
Instead of acidic beverages, opt for alternatives, such as black tea or coffee, milk, or the best one, which is water. It can help wash out the negative effects of acidic beverages and food, so it’s recommended to drink water after every meal.
See Your Dentist for Regular Checkups
No one knows your teeth better than your dentist. Even if you pay excellent attention to your teeth and gums at home, you still need to get them checked as part of oral care and disease prevention.
But, how often should you visit your dentist? Generally, it is recommended to see a local dentist every six months for cleaning and checkup. However, the frequency and schedule should be based on your specific oral needs and conditions. For example, people who are more prone to developing a dental disease may need to visit more frequently. These include pregnant women, persons with diabetes, or those who have a weak immune response to bacterial infection.
Dentists can provide treatments for dental problems and ways on how you can improve your oral health. Visit a professional that offers reliable family dental service.