You’ve probably heard it a million times but, in case it’s been a while: your dental health is hugely important. Not only does it affect the look and functionality of your teeth but of the rest of your body as well. As such, you must do everything in your power to maintain your teeth and gums.
Wondering what exactly you should be doing? Then read on. Here are 9 of the best things you should be doing for your dental health.
1. Brush Regularly
Nothing does more for your teeth than regular brushing. You should be brushing your teeth a minimum of twice a day: once in the morning and once at night. Brushing in the morning eliminates bacteria that built up on your teeth while you were sleeping; brushing at night eliminates the bacteria that’s built up on your teeth throughout the day.
If you really want to keep your teeth healthy, you should brush directly after eating. This way, food particles won’t trap any plaque on the surface of your teeth.
Each brushing session should last about 2 minutes and should include the brushing of all parts of each tooth. Make sure to brush the fronts and the backs, and try to get in between each tooth as well.
Note, the more brushing you do, the sooner your toothbrush will wear out. A worn-out toothbrush won’t do as good of a job at brushing. So, if the bristles look frayed and bent, make sure to replace your toothbrush.
2. Floss Regularly
Not only should you be brushing your teeth regularly but flossing them regularly as well. If you’re not flossing, you’re missing out on substantial amounts of plaque. If allowed to remain in between your teeth, this plaque will cause more and more decay over time.
At a minimum, you should be flossing once a day, ideally at the end of the day. Flossing at the end of the day enables you to remove food particles before you go to sleep. If food particles are left in your teeth while you’re sleeping, bacteria will swarm to them, causing much more decay than would have been caused otherwise.
When flossing, make sure to get between each tooth at least once. This includes those hard-to-reach teeth in the back of your mouth. Flossing can require a little practice, but once you get it, you’ll be able to get to all of your teeth in just a few minutes.
3. Drink Water
You’ll also want to make sure that you’re drinking plenty of water. Not only is water necessary for keeping you hydrated but for ridding your teeth of bacteria and food particles as well.
See, every time you drink water, it runs between your teeth and applies pressure against the buildup that your teeth possess. The more pressure this buildup receives, the more likely it is to fall off. When this buildup falls off, the teeth are at a much lower risk of decay.
So, drink frequently, and particularly after you’ve eaten. In fact, it might even be a good idea to carry a water bottle around with you.
Note, drinking water can help to fight bad breath as well. It does this not only by eliminating food particles but by keeping the mouth wet as well (a dry mouth is particularly susceptible to halitosis).
4. Lay Off the Junk Food
Everyone gets a hankering for junk food from time to time. And it’s okay to give in to those urges every once in a while. But you shouldn’t make a practice of it.
Not only is junk food filled with empty calories but a bevy of sugars and starches as well. As such, it has just as negative of an effect on the teeth and gums as it does on the rest of the body.
Eating junk food regularly will result in increased plaque buildup. In some cases, it will even cause your teeth to become discolored.
So, when it comes to soda and candy and cake and cookies and the like, just say no. If you do decide to indulge in one of these, try to brush your teeth right after doing so. The faster you can do away with that plaque, the healthier your teeth will be in the long run.
5. Stay Away from Alcohol
Alcoholic beverages have their place. That said, they shouldn’t be consumed on a regular basis.
Why? Well, there are myriad reasons.
For one, when consumed regularly, alcohol can wreak absolute havoc on one’s internal organs. For two, it can have a negative effect on one’s psyche. And for three, it can do serious damage to one’s teeth and gums.
See, like junk food, alcohol is high in sugars. In addition, it’s acidic, meaning it can burn right through the enamel on your teeth. So, if you’re drinking several times a week, there’s a good chance that your teeth will experience decay as a result.
This will almost certainly present itself in the way of yellowing. It could also present itself in the way of cavities and maybe even more extreme issues such as root canals infections.
Keep alcohol consumption limited to every once in a while. If you do consume alcohol, brush your teeth soon after.
6. Say No to Tobacco
As you’ve probably heard, tobacco can have negative effects on the teeth as well. So, if you’re looking for ways to take care of your teeth and gums, make sure to put down the cigarettes and dip.
Why does tobacco hurt the teeth? It has mostly to do with the way that tobacco dries out the mouth. The drier the mouth becomes, the more bacteria that build upon the teeth.
Over time, these bacteria can cause the teeth to decay. They can also lead to discoloration, causing the teeth to become yellow and, in some cases, brown.
7. Use Mouthwash
Not only should you be drinking plenty of water but you should also be using mouthwash. Mouthwash serves the same general purpose as water (it removes food particles from the areas between the teeth).
That said, there is an added benefit to mouthwash. Unlike water, mouthwash has antibacterial properties. So, not only does it remove food particles but it also actively kills bacteria. This makes it much more effective than water overall.
There’s also the fact that mouthwash is flavored. As such, it can help to combat bad breath by freshening it up.
8. Keep Stress to a Minimum
Stress can have an impact on your teeth as well. How is that? See, when you’re stressed, you tend to clench your teeth.
And if you’re clenching your teeth, you’re subjecting them to unnecessary stress. Over time, this can cause them to break and decay. It could also put some strain on the roots of the teeth, weakening them over time.
If you want your teeth to remain clean, symmetrical, and, well, in your mouth, you need to keep your stress levels to a minimum. Go for a hike, go for a run, meditate, do yoga, read a book. Do whatever you have to do to keep your anxiety in check.
9. See Your Dentist Regularly
You’ll be handling the bulk of your dental hygiene routine yourself. However, that doesn’t mean you should avoid the dentist. In fact, you should be seeing your dentist twice every year.
See, dentists provide services that you can’t provide to yourself. Not only do they have tools to help remove plaque from your teeth but they also ultra-powered brushes that will help to polish your teeth up.
In addition, they’re able to provide a variety of preventative maintenance procedures. For instance, they can take x-rays of your teeth to ensure that no cavities are cropping up. This enables them to eliminate small problems before they become big problems.
Dentists also have the knowledge and experience needed to determine whether your teeth are currently in good shape. They’ll inspect your teeth and decide on whether or not they need more intensive treatment. If it’s found that your teeth do need more intensive treatment, your dentist will provide it to you.
So, remember: see your dentist 2 times a year. 6 months apart is ideal. Find a reputable dentist like Newstead Dental Co and set up an appointment.
Prioritize Your Dental Health
Your dental health is a priority. As such, it’s vital that you establish a solid oral hygiene routine. Follow these tips for healthy teeth and gums and you’ll be good to go over the long run.
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