Your smile is a huge part of your personality. Moreover, your mouth’s well-being is strongly connected to your overall well-being. Taking care of your teeth and gums is vital! But just how can you protect your precious smile and help it to stand the test of time? In this article, your dentist discusses nine oral health habits that can do much to keep your smile in great shape.
Brush Your Teeth Before Bed
You should always brush your teeth twice a day, but many people are under the mistaken impression that brushing in the morning is more important than brushing at night. In fact, brushing before bed is essential because it clears away plaque and bacteria that accumulate on the teeth throughout the day.
When you brush, you should always be conscious of the need to do so thoroughly. Do not forget to clean the backs of your teeth and the area along the gumline. You should also take a few seconds to gently brush your tongue.
Use a Fluoride Toothpaste
Fluoride is an essential mineral that helps to replenish bits of tooth enamel that get worn away through everyday eating and drinking. Most toothpastes contain fluoride, but it is worth double-checking to make sure that the product you are using contains this important substance.
Flossing is important for cleaning the tight spaces between teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach. If you find it tedious or difficult to floss, do not give up! Your dentist or dental hygienist will be happy to give you pointers on how to become a lifelong flosser.
Use a Mouthwash
Depending on which type of mouthwash you use, swishing for 30 – 60 seconds before or after you brush can kill harmful oral bacteria, freshen your breath, fight gum disease, and more. Your preventive dentist will be happy to give you a personalized product recommendation.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water helps to rinse away harmful bacteria and food particles. It also promotes saliva production and decreases the risk of dry mouth. Some municipal water supplies even contain a bit of fluoride to help residents maintain strong teeth.
Eat Crunchy Fruits and Veggies
Raw apples, celery, carrots, and other crunchy fruits and vegetables help to scrape plaque and bacteria away from the teeth and gums. The chewing action also encourages saliva production and helps to keep the jaw muscles strong.
Cut Back on Sugary and Acidic Foods
Sugar increases plaque production, which can quickly lead to dental decay. Acid weakens tooth enamel and also plays a role in cavity development. It’s best to limit your consumption of candies, sodas, and other sugary and acidic treats.
Visit Your Dentist Twice a Year
Twice-yearly appointments give your dentist the opportunity to spot and treat oral health problems while they are still in their early stages. Professional cleanings clear your mouth of tartar, which a regular toothbrush cannot remove.
How are your oral health habits? If you see room for improvement, now is the time to make positive changes!
About the Author
Dr. Bryan Griffith has worked as a dentist since 1993, when he graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry. Throughout the years, he has established a reputation for providing extremely comfortable, high-quality dental care to patients. If you would like Dr. Griffith’s help to maintain or improve your oral health, contact our office at 606-874-9311.