Maintaining good dental health not only ensures the well-being of your teeth and gums, it also improves your appearance and overall quality of life. Dentists help with many dental care issues like cavities, jaw issues, gum disease, and broken teeth. It is also important for people to practice good dental health between regular dentist visits in order to make those visits easier. Starting good dental habits at a young age is a great way to ensure your teeth will stay strong and healthy later in life. Here are 4 ways to achieve and maintain excellent oral health.
Brush Your Teeth (and Do It Right)
Most people know that brushing your teeth at least twice a day is crucial for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. However, not everyone uses proper techniques when brushing teeth. Brushing properly is essential to prevent cavities by removing plaque. It also ensures fresh breath and shiny, white teeth.
When brushing your teeth, it can be helpful to set a two-minute timer. Two minutes can feel a lot longer than it actually is! Begin by brushing in small circular motions across each individual tooth, taking care to reach the gum line as well as every nook and cranny. It is important to ensure you’re brushing each tooth’s front surface, chewing surface, and backside. Gently repeat this motion for two to three minutes.
You should end every tooth brushing session with a tongue brush, gently brushing from back to front. This helps to remove bacteria, leaving your mouth healthy and fresh. For maximum dental health, follow up with a mouthwash rinse. Many people opt for a fluoridated mouthwash for extra benefits.
Many people dread the question, “How often do you floss?” By forming a regular daily flossing habit, this question doesn’t have to be avoided! Like regular brushing, flossing is essential to removing food and plaque buildup. It also stimulates the gums, removing inflammation in the mouth. Flossing is done by gently pushing a piece of floss between each tooth in an up-and-down motion. Flossing should not cause pain or bleeding when done regularly and properly.
Consider Your Diet
Drinking enough water every day is important not just for overall health but also for dental health. Staying hydrated is important for maintaining healthy gums and teeth because a dry mouth can lead to oral health issues. Additionally, drinking water after eating sticky, sugary, or acidic foods can help to counteract some of the negative effects of those foods on teeth.
Limiting certain foods and beverages is one of the best ways to prevent long-term tooth damage. Sugar turns into acid in the mouth, which ultimately leads to eroded enamel. Foods and drinks like candy, tea, coffee, certain fruits, and gum can leady to tooth decay. If you choose to snack on sugary treats like these, brushing your teeth afterward is helpful to maintaining your dental health.
There are also plenty of beneficial foods to try. Raw, crunchy fruits and vegetables are great for your teeth (and your body). They stimulate saliva flow, contain essential nutrients, and help build strong jaw muscles.
Schedule Regular Dental Appointments
Many people avoid the dentist due to anxiety, cost, or lack of time. Dental insurance is not always accessible for everyone. However, even the most dedicated brushers and flossers need to schedule regular dental appointments. Everyone should be seeing their dentist at least twice a year for regular check-ups and professional cleanings. Those who experience dental problems like pain or bleeding should consider more frequent visits.
Dentists can spot issues early on to avoid problems with your teeth down the road. Catching dental issues like gingivitis or cavities in their early stages can save a lot of future time and money. Dentists are also able to provide preventative care like sealants to protect teeth from decay.
Ultimately, good dental care is achieved by regular healthy habits like brushing, flossing, and eating healthy foods. However, even if you brush your teeth more than twice a day and never eat another piece of candy again, you still need to see a dentist regularly. Dental appointments are crucial to preventing issues and maintaining a healthy mouth, teeth, and gums. Oral health issues can be costly, painful, and even debilitating. Your teeth are meant to last for the majority of your life, so it is important to take good care of them.