Achieving healthy teeth takes a lifetime of care. Even if you’ve been told that you have nice teeth, it’s important to take the right steps every day to take care of them and prevent problems. This involves getting the right oral care products, as well as being mindful of your daily habits.
Here are Do’s and Don’t to maintaining healthy teeth.
Don’t go to bed without brushing your teeth.
It’s no secret that the general recommendation is to brush at least twice a day. Still, many of us continue to neglect to brush our teeth at night. But brushing before bed rids of the germs and plaque that accumulate all day long.
Brush your teeth the correct way
The way you brush is of the essence — in fact, doing a poor job of brushing your teeth is almost as bad as not brushing at all. Take your time, moving the toothbrush in gentle, circular motions to remove plaque. Unremoved plaque can harden, leading to calculus buildup and gingivitis (early gum disease).
Don’t neglect your tongue
Plaque can also build up on your tongue. Not only can this lead to bad mouth odour, but it can lead to other oral health problems. Gently brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth.
Use a fluoride toothpaste
When it comes to toothpaste, there are more important elements to look for than whitening power and flavours. No matter which version you choose, make sure it contains fluoride.
While fluoride has come under scrutiny by those worried about how it impacts other areas of health, this substance remains a mainstay in dental health. This is because fluoride is a leading defence against tooth decay. It works by fighting germs that can lead to decay, as well as providing a protective barrier for your teeth.
Treat flossing as important as brushing
Many who brush regularly neglect to floss. Flossing is not just for getting those little pieces of Chinese food or broccoli that may get stuck in between your teeth. It’s really a way to stimulate the gums, reduce plaque, and help lower inflammation in the area.
Flossing once a day is usually enough to reap these benefits.
Flossing can be difficult, especially for young children and older adults with arthritis. Rather than give up, look for tools that can help you floss your teeth.
Many people skip mouthwash because they don’t know how they work.
Mouthwash helps in three ways: It reduces the amount of acid in the mouth, cleans hard-to-brush areas in and around the gums, and re-mineralizes the teeth. Mouthwashes are useful as an adjunct tool to help bring things into balance. Where the ability to brush and floss may not be ideal, a mouthwash is particularly helpful.
Ask your dentist for specific mouthwash recommendations. Certain brands are best for children, and those with sensitive teeth.
Drink more water
Water continues to be the best beverage for your overall health — including dental health. Also, as a rule of thumb, it is recommended that you drink water after every meal. This can help wash out some of the negative effects of sticky and acidic foods and beverages in between brushes.
Eat crunchy fruits and vegetables
Ready-to-eat foods are convenient, but perhaps not so much when it comes to your teeth. Eating fresh, crunchy produce not only contains healthier fibre, but it’s also the best choice for your teeth. Try to avoid the overly mushy processed stuff, stop cutting things into tiny pieces, and get those jaws working!
Limit sugary and acidic foods
Ultimately, sugar converts into acid in the mouth, which can then erode the enamel of your teeth. These acids are what lead to cavities. Acidic fruits, teas, and coffee can also wear down tooth enamel. While you don’t necessarily have to avoid such foods altogether, it doesn’t hurt to be mindful.
It is an important take away to note that regular visits to the dentists are as important as any medical checkups you may have.
Your daily habits are crucial to your overall dental health. Still, even the most dutiful brushers and flossers need to see a dentist regularly. At a minimum, you should see your dentist for cleanings and checkups twice a year. Not only can a dentist remove calculus and look for cavities, but they will also be able to spot potential issues and offer treatment solutions.
Some dental insurance companies even cover more frequent dental checkups. If this is the case for you, take advantage of it. Doing so is especially helpful if you have a history of dental issues, such as gingivitis or frequent cavities.