1. Brush your Teeth Twice a Day
Brushing removes leftover food particles that can bond with saliva to form plaque. These particles feed the bacteria that naturally live in our mouths and these bacteria can eat through our tooth enamel and cause tooth decay. When brushing your teeth, be sure to use a quality electric toothbrush or a soft bristled manual brush. While medium and hard bristled toothbrushes are readily available, stiffer bristles and aggressive brushing causes gums to recede and can wear down your tooth’s enamel.
2. Use Fluoride Toothpaste
Fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel, making it an important additive to toothpaste. Using toothpaste and mouthwash with fluoride can reverse tooth decay at early stages, reducing the need for fillings.
3. Keep your Tongue Clean
When you brush your teeth, don’t forget to brush your tongue. Running your toothbrush over the white or yellow area at the back of your tongue helps to remove the foul-smelling bacterial waste that causes bad breath.
4. Take Good Care of your Toothbrush
Your toothbrush doesn’t need any special cleaning, but make sure it dries completely after each use and there is no leftover toothpaste. Store your toothbrush in an upright position that is exposed to air. Don’t forget to change out your old toothbrush for a fresh new toothbrush every 3 to 4 months…or earlier if you see a lot of wear and tear on the bristles.
5. Floss Daily
Flossing is important because it removes plaque between teeth and out from under the gumlines, where a toothbrush can’t reach. If left alone, plaque and tartar build up under the surface of the gumlines can cause periodontal disease, which leads to bone destruction and tooth loss. Daily flossing helps prevent tooth decay and gingivitis.
6. Limit Sugary Drinks
The bacteria in our mouths thrive on sugar which makes sugary drinks a major contributor to tooth decay. Reducing the amount of sugar in your diet combined with regular brushing and flossing can help keep the bacteria under control.
7. Maintain a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is not only important for your overall health, but it is important for your teeth as well. In addition to good nutrition provided by healthy foods that help your bones and teeth grow and stay healthy, a lot of fruits and vegetables are crunchy and chewy, which promotes the production of saliva. Foods that require a lot of chewing are good for the teeth because more saliva means the mouth is naturally washed out more often.
8. Drink Plenty of Water
Water is the healthiest drink for your smile and your body. Drinking water helps rinse teeth clean and discourages tooth decay. Not only that…but keeping your body hydrated helps your mouth produce enough saliva to keep your mouth and teeth clean. Saliva naturally washes out the mouth, removing oral bacteria and the food particles that they feed upon.
9. Don’t Chew on Hard Items
Don’t chew on hard candies or ice and keep non-food items like pens, pencils, and water bottle caps out of your mouth. These items aren’t designed to be chewed and can damage your teeth.
10. See your regular Dentist Twice a Year
Regular dental visits are necessary to preserving your oral health. Having routine cleanings every six months helps to promote good oral health and a beautiful smile. Your dentist is trained to recognize early signs of tooth decay and gum disease before they cause severe damage to your teeth and mouth. Regular checkups are the key to maintaining a healthy smile. Visiting your dentist twice a year can help you avoid complicated and expensive dental procedures later in life.
It can take some time before you start to notice changes from improved oral hygiene. While these changes won’t come overnight, they are certainly worth the time and effort, both for the sake of your smile and your overall health. If you have any questions regarding the health of your teeth and mouth, don’t hesitate to call our office.