Achieving healthy teeth takes a lifetime of care. Even if you’ve been told that you have nice teeth, it’s crucial to take the right steps every day to take care of them and prevent oral health problems. This involves getting the right oral care products, as well as being mindful of your daily habits.
1. Don’t go to bed without brushing your teeth
It’s no secret that the general recommendation is to brush at least twice a day. But, many of us continue to neglect to brush our teeth at night. But brushing before bed gets rid of the germs and plaque that accumulate throughout the day.
2. Brush properly
The way you brush is equally important — in fact, doing a poor job of brushing your teeth is almost as bad as not brushing at all. Take your time, moving the toothbrush in gentle, circular motions to remove plaque. Unremoved plaque can harden, leading to calculus build-up and gingivitis (early gum disease).
3. Don’t neglect your tongue
Plaque can also build up on your tongue. Not only can this lead to bad mouth odor, but it can lead to other oral health problems. Gently brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth.
4. Use a fluoride toothpaste
When it comes to toothpaste, there are more important elements to look for than whitening power and flavours. No matter which version you choose, make sure it contains fluoride.
5. Treat flossing as important as brushing
Many who brush regularly neglect to floss but it removes plaque and bacteria from between the teeth, where a toothbrush is unable to reach. It can also help prevent bad breath by removing debris and food that has become trapped between the teeth. Flossing once a day is usually enough to reap these benefits.
6. Consider mouthwash
Advertisements make mouthwash seem necessary for good oral health, but many people skip them because they don’t know how they work. Mouthwash helps in three ways: It reduces the amount of acid in the mouth, cleans hard-to-brush areas in and around the gums, and re-mineralizes the teeth. In children and older people, where the ability to brush and floss may not be ideal, a mouthwash is particularly helpful. You may ask your dentist for specific mouthwash recommendations. Certain brands are best for children, and those with sensitive teeth.
7. Drink more water
Water continues to be the best beverage for your overall health, it is recommended to drink water after every meal. This can help wash out some of the negative effects of sticky and acidic foods and beverages in between brushes.
8. Eat crunchy fruits and vegetables
Ready-to-eat foods are convenient, but perhaps not so much when it comes to your teeth. Eating fresh, crunchy produce not only contains more healthy fibre, but it’s also the best choice for your teeth.
9. Limit sugary and acidic foods
Ultimately, sugar converts into acid in the mouth, which can then erode the enamel of your teeth. These acids are what lead to cavities. Acidic fruits, teas, and coffee can also wear down tooth enamel. While you don’t necessarily have to avoid such foods altogether, it doesn’t hurt to be mindful.
10. See your dentist at least twice a year
Your own everyday habits are crucial to your overall oral health. Still, even the most dutiful brushers and flossers need to see a dentist regularly. At minimum, you should see your dentist for cleanings and check-ups twice a year. Not only can a dentist remove calculus and look for cavities, but they will also be able to spot potential issues and offer treatment solutions.
Foods and drinks to avoid
Sugar and candy intake should be limited; this is because the bacteria in the mouth need sugar to produce the acids that weaken enamel and damage teeth. Each time teeth are exposed to sugar, the demineralization process begins, and it can take up to an hour for the mouth to return to normal, non-acidic pH conditions.
Specifically try to avoid:
Sodas, candy, sweets and sugary snacks, chocolate, cookies and fast food, which is known to contain sugars.
Other fermentable carbohydrates are also involved: Bread, crackers, bananas, breakfast cereals.
Studies show that consumption of starchy staple foods and fresh fruit are associated with lower levels of dental caries, so the risk is not as high as sugar. Consuming a variety of foods rich in nutrients and avoiding those that contain sugars and starches is important for keeping teeth and gums healthy.
A note from Molars Dental Clinic
Proper oral hygiene is the key to optimal oral health. Brushing, flossing and routine dental visits help keep your teeth and gums in tip-top condition. Regular dental visits also help your dentist detect and treat problems early, before they worsen. To learn more about proper oral hygiene or oral health products, contact us.