Maintaining a healthy mouth is about so much more than just a beautiful smile. Of course, a radiant smile is attractive. But more importantly, your dental health influences all aspects of your health, well-being, and quality of life.
Today we will talk about the importance of maintaining good dental care habits throughout your lifetime. Embracing these habits helps keep your teeth and gums healthy.
This blog post is not intended to replace professional dental care. Dental health is a complicated and highly individual. There is simply no substitute for the personalized Dental Care that you receive from a skilled dentist.
We hope this information empowers you to make good choices for your well-being. For years, many people underestimated the importance of maintaining good dental care habits because they didn’t realize how important oral health is to quality-of-life overall health and well-being.
Maintaining Good Dental Care Habits – Top Ten Tips and Techniques
Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day
Dental hygiene is the cornerstone of a healthy mouth. Brush your teeth twice a day using either a soft-bristled manual toothbrush or an electric toothbrush. If you are using a manual toothbrush, gently brush your teeth and small circular movements. Spend at least 2 minutes each time you brush your teeth.
Brushing helps prevent plaque buildup, tooth decay, and tooth erosion. If you feel that you need guidance or want to check out your tooth brushing technique, be sure and ask your dentist or dental hygienist at your next professional cleaning or dental appointment.
Be sure to use a toothpaste containing fluoride.
Floss Every Day
Everybody knows they should floss their teeth, but many people fail to make it a daily habit. It is essential to be aware that flossing is just as important as brushing your teeth. Even if you diligently clean, there are spaces between your teeth and below the gum line that your toothbrush cannot effectively reach.
The health of your gums and soft tissues in your mouth is crucial to good oral hygiene. When bacteria, plaque, builds up between the teeth and along the gum line, it results in inflamed, puffy, or sore gums. Over time this can lead to gum disease. Left untreated, gum disease it’s dangerous. It can result in tooth loss, chronic inflammation, and bone loss. Plaque if not disrupted by brushing and flossing and removed will lead to cavities.
Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly
Thriftiness is an admirable quality, but you don’t want to let it get in the way of your dental health. Be sure to replace your toothbrush every three to four months or when it starts to show wear.
The American Dental Association recommends changing your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head because this helps prevent bacteria buildup.
Don’t Neglect Your Tongue
When you brush your teeth, also remember to brush your tongue. This helps keep your breath fresh, and it also helps prevent the buildup of unhealthy bacteria that can negatively impact your oral health.
Consider Using a Mouthwash
Consider using mouthwash to help clean hard-to-reach areas and to help fight bacteria and plaque buildup. Talk with your dentist about whether mouthwash is appropriate for you. Please do not swallow mouthwash. Children or adults who may swallow it should avoid mouthwash unless their dentist recommends it.
Be gentle With Your Teeth
Avoid breaking, wearing down, or damaging your teeth as much as possible. To do this, never use your teeth for anything other than eating. Avoid biting overly hard objects like ice or shelled nuts.
If you play contact sports or action sports, consider wearing a sports mouth guard to protect your teeth from damage. If you grind your teeth, also consider wearing a nightguard while you sleep.
In other words, be gentle with your teeth to avoid premature damage.
Sip Still Water Throughout the Day
Dry mouth can contribute to tooth decay and other oral health issues. Sipping water during the day helps keep your mouth moist. Also, if you brush your teeth twice a day, there are times when you will eat but not immediately brush your teeth.
Drinking plain water helps dilute any sugars and acids that are in your mouth from between-meal snacks. Be sure to avoid or minimize acidic drinks like coffee, tea, wine, fruit juice, or soda pop. Many people find that sipping water helps them stay hydrated, and it also helps them limit their consumption of sugary, acidic drinks like coffee or soda.
Limit Sugary Foods
No doubt you have heard that sugar is bad for your teeth. Sugar converts into acid in your mouth and that acid erodes your tooth enamel and eventually may cause cavities.
Limit your consumption of sweet sugary and acidic foods. Ideally, only eat these foods during a meal shortly before you brush your teeth.
Eat Vegetables and Some Fruit
Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and some fruit. Crunchy vegetables and fruit contain fiber and fiber helps clean your teeth. So if you need a between-meal snack, consider carrot sticks, celery sticks, slices of cucumber, or slices of apples. Be aware that fruit also contains sugar, in moderation crunchy, high fiber fruit like apples offers more benefits than disadvantages. However, moderation is the key.
See Your Dentist and Hygienist as Recommended
Don’t neglect your regularly scheduled dental appointments for maintaining good dental care habits. It is important for your dentist to monitor any changes to your dental health, such as changes in tooth alignment, gum health, or new cavities. Early diagnosis leads to earlier and more effective treatment.
Professional dental cleaning is an underrated tool for good oral health. Not only do your teeth feel smooth after a cleaning, but your dental professional also removes tartar that brushing cannot remove. This is also a good time to check in about your brushing and flossing technique and ask any questions you may have about oral hygiene. Your dentist or hygienist might teach you better techniques for taking care of your teeth and maintaining good dental care habits.
Sometimes people procrastinate on their dental appointment because they find it unpleasant, especially if their gums bleed. If your gums bleed, this is all the more reason to see your dentist for an examination and cleaning because this is possibly a sign you may be developing gum disease. A professional cleaning actually helps fight gum disease and serves almost as a reset giving you the opportunity to develop better oral hygiene habits.
Here at Southview Dentistry, we feel privileged to serve Charlotte-area residents. If you live in the area and need a dentist, please give us a call today.