5 Tips to Help You Achieve Healthy Teeth and Gums
We all know that we’re supposed to brush our teeth at least twice a day, although after every meal is better, and most of us are also aware that flossing and rinsing should be part of the daily routine, as well. What you may not understand (or remember from childhood lessons) is why you are supposed to do these things. Bacteria in your mouth forms plaque on your teeth, and when you eat, food particles linger behind to become a buffet for the bacteria, which then produce acids that can wear away at your enamel, leading to tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. So getting rid of plaque and food particles is imperative if you want to preserve your oral health. And here a just a few tips to help you reach your goal and maintain your mouth.
- Brush right. Even though you’ve been brushing your teeth since you first started sprouting them, you may not be doing it right. The last time you had a lesson you were probably about two years old, and over time you may have become a little lazy about this daily task. For example, did you know that you’re supposed to place the bristles of your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle? Or that you need to brush each tooth individually with a circular motion, outside, inside, and on the chewing surface? It should take at least two minutes to complete the task. And if you’re not brushing your tongue you’re missing a huge amount of bacteria. If you’re not certain that you’re brushing properly, check out some online tutorials or ask your dentist for a demonstration.
- Floss and rinse. Many people neglect one or both of these tasks, but considering that your toothbrush is not designed to go between teeth or below the gumline, it’s important that you add flossing and rinsing to your daily routine. When combined with brushing, these activities form a trifecta of protection that helps to keep cavities and other oral health concerns at bay.
- The way you eat. Did you know that what you eat could bear just as much blame for poor dental health as a lack of proper dental hygiene? Foods and beverages that contain a lot of sugar, for example, are more likely to cling to teeth, produce acid, and lead to erosion. On the other hand, dairy products help to strengthen teeth thanks to calcium. Cheese, in particular, also helps to balance the pH level in your mouth to reduce acid. Of course, any time you eat or drink you can follow it up with a few swishes of water to rinse away food particles. This is a great idea if you don’t have time to brush right away.
- Choose the right products. The type of toothpaste or mouthwash you use could make a difference in how well your teeth and gums are protected from harmful bacteria. Fluoridated toothpaste is a good choice because it helps to mineralize tooth enamel, forming a strong barrier to block the corrosive acids produced by bacteria. And as for mouthwash, you can also find those that include fluoride (just don’t swallow them), although it’s more important to choose products that fight bacteria and plaque, rather than simply making your breath smell minty fresh.
- Visit the dentist regularly. There’s no better way to keep your mouth healthy than to visit your local dentist twice a year for a checkup and cleaning. Unless you want to end up paying for tooth extractions and dental implants in Fargo, Fresno, or Fort Lauderdale, you need to arrange for preventive care that will keep your teeth and gums in top condition.