Good dental health is important for your body’s overall health and wellbeing. Poor dental hygiene can lead to many serious oral health issues, from bad breath and tooth decay to gum disease. Fortunately, there are some easily achievable habits that you can incorporate into your daily routine in order to improve your dental health.
Here are seven habits that can help improve your dental health and keep your teeth looking their best.
Brushing your teeth properly and regularly is one of the most important habits for maintaining good dental health. Brushing at least twice a day removes plaque, bacteria, and food particles that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste, and brush in circular motions for two minutes.
Make sure to also brush your tongue, which can help remove bacteria and lessen bad breath. You should also replace your toothbrush every three months or when the bristles begin to fray.
Flossing should be done at least once a day to remove plaque and food particles that brushing alone can’t reach. Use waxed floss, as it is less likely to fray or break. Start by wrapping the floss around both middle fingers, leaving about two inches of floss between them. Then, use a gentle sawing motion to move the floss between each tooth, ensuring that it cleans both sides.
Using fluoridated products can help strengthen tooth enamel, protect against decay, and reduce the risk of cavities. Fluoride helps to remineralize weakened tooth enamel and can also make teeth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth.
Sugary drinks and foods are major culprits when it comes to cavities. Bacteria feed on sugar, which then produces acids that attack the enamel of your teeth. Limit sugary snacks such as candy, cookies, and cake, as well as sugary beverages like soft drinks and fruit juices. If you do eat or drink something sugary, make sure to brush or rinse your mouth afterward.
Water helps to remove food particles and bacteria from your mouth and can help reduce the risk of cavities. Drinking water throughout the day also helps to keep your mouth hydrated, which can help reduce bad breath and dry mouth. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water each day to keep your teeth healthy.
Eating a balanced diet is important for your overall health, and it can also help maintain good oral health. Foods that are high in calcium and phosphorus, such as dairy products and leafy green vegetables, can help strengthen teeth by remineralizing enamel. Eating crunchy fruits and vegetables, such as apples or celery, can act like a natural toothbrush and help remove plaque from your teeth.
Aside from practicing good oral hygiene at home, it’s important to schedule regular dental check-ups and cleanings. These visits allow your dentist to look for any potential problems early on and can help maintain the health of your teeth. They can also provide advice on how to improve your oral hygiene routine. It is recommended that you visit the dentist at least once every six months.
There are other ways you can keep your teeth and gums in good condition. Here are a few tips that can help:
- Avoid smoking or using tobacco products. Smoking or using tobacco can lead to serious dental problems, including bad breath, tooth discoloration, periodontal disease, tooth loss, and oral cancer.
- Use a mouthguard. If you participate in any contact sports such as hockey, football, or boxing, make sure to wear a properly fitted mouthguard to protect your teeth from injury. If you also grind your teeth at night, consider investing in a custom mouthguard.
- Consider getting dental sealants. Sealants are thin resin coatings that can be applied to the chewing surfaces of teeth to help protect them from decay and cavities. They are especially useful for molars, which have deeper grooves and pits that can be difficult to keep clean.
- Avoid using your teeth as a tool. Never use your teeth to open bottle caps, crack nutshells, or cut materials like string and tape. Doing so can lead to serious tooth damage.
Our team of experienced dentists and hygienists is dedicated to providing you with the best possible care. We offer a full range of services, from routine check-ups and cleanings to more specialized treatments like root canals, implants, and veneers. Call or visit us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve and maintain a healthy smile!