Your dental health plays an integral part of your overall health, and not taking proper care of the latter can increase your chance of developing conditions such as heart disease, respiratory problems, and even dementia. Here are the top 10 ways to improve your dental health:
1. Brush your teeth three times a day.
Brushing your teeth after every meal will prevent food from becoming stuck between your teeth and gums, and will ensure that your teeth are getting the proper cleaning. In addition to keeping your teeth bright, regular brushing can help prevent gum disease and bad breath.
It’s important to brush properly, about 2-3 minutes per brush; spending 30 seconds in each area of your mouth and making sure you’re actively brushing each tooth, not just the area.
2. Choose your toothbrush wisely, and replace it often.
There are a variety of toothbrush options out there, but soft-bristled and electronic toothbrushes are the best options to keep your smile bright and clean. Both of these choices allow for the gentle cleansing on your teeth without inflicting hard scrubbing and possible long-term damage such as receding gums and enamel loss.
Brushing your teeth helps to prevent bacteria, and so does replacing your toothbrush. It is recommended that after three months of use you change out your toothbrush for a new one. If you are unsure of what the best toothbrush option for you is, be sure to ask at your next cleaning.
3. Floss regularly.
Over are the days of telling your dentist you floss just to appease them. Flossing is extremely important for your dental hygiene. This small step is the only way to remove food that gets stuck between your teeth during the day before it turns into plaque. Flossing at least once a day before bedtime or after each meal helps to keep your gums healthy and prevent cavities from forming. If you experience bleeding when flossing, you may have gingivitis or poor gum health. Not to worry, the more you floss the better your gum health will be, decreasing your bloody gums over time.
For those with dental work, or sensitive or inflamed gums, a water pick is a great option for easier flossing. A water pick works by safely shooting a stream of water directly onto your teeth and gums to help remove leftover food particles.
4. Give your tongue some attention.
Your tongue, like your teeth and gums, can play host to a variety of bacteria if left uncleaned. To kick these bacteria to the curb, consider purchasing a tongue scraper, or a toothbrush with a scraper on the back. This small accessory will help you remove bacteria and improve your breath. The move in-depth your hygiene routine, the cleaner your mouth will be.
5. Stop smoking.
In addition to causing serious health concerns such as mouth and lung cancer, smoking can also cause tooth discoloration and bad breath. Smokers are more likely to have infected gums, weakened teeth, and a lower success rate of dental implant procedures.
6. Limit your coffee intake.
Most of us rely on our daily cup of coffee to get us through the day, but dark-colored drinks, such as coffee and red wine, can become embedded in the cracks and ridges of your enamel and cause yellowish stains on your teeth that may need to be reversed by teeth whitening. Coffee also contains acid, which can wear out your enamel. This can additionally lead to tooth decay down the line. If you can’t kick the coffee habit, try switching up how you consume it. Drinking coffee with a straw ensures your favorite caffeinated beverage has minimal exposure to your teeth.
7. Eat a nutritious diet.
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” isn’t just used by pediatricians. Dentists recommend eating an apple a day because chewing apples can help you clean your teeth and avoid cavities, all while also taking the edge off of your sweet tooth. Crunchier vegetables like carrots and celery also help keep your gums stimulated fighting cavities. In general, a nutritious diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, grains, chicken and fish(especially organic) will aid in not just your dental health, but your overall health.
4. Decrease sugar intake.
Sugary drinks and foods such as soda, desserts, and a handful of juices and alcoholic beverages can put you at a higher risk for cavities. This is because cavities are bacterial infections created by acids in your mouth, and when you eat a diet high in sugar, your mouth’s harmful bacteria feed off of it. In turn, this can lead to cavities and tooth enamel decay. Going the sugar-free route will keep your teeth happy and cavity-free.
9. Use an antibacterial mouthwash.
Mixing mouthwash into your daily dental health regiment serves as an added defense against bacteria living in your mouth. Mouthwash gets into the crevices and soft tissue of your mouth that you may not always brush.
10. Visit the dentist regularly.
We often find that many patients only visit us when there is something wrong, but some of the most vital parts of your dental health care routine x-rays and regular cleanings. Preventive care can help find minor issues before they become significant. Not only that, but it also helps you build up a comfortable and trustworthy dentist/patient relationship. The more you trust your dentist, the easier it will be to discuss your worries and fears, leading to a more enjoyable experience.
Many people associate having to go to the dentist as a negative experience, but your dentist is there to help keep you healthy just like your primary care doctor. If something is causing you pain in your mouth, don’t be afraid to speak up so your dentist can examine the area and take further actions if needed. Never be afraid to ask questions regarding different treatment methods. At Arrow Dental, you are always a vital part of your dental plan, and we will discuss and decide on a treatment plan together.