The first toothbrushes were twigs that our ancestors chewed. Modern toothbrushes have been around since the 1930s. Tooth care has come a long way over the years, and there is more than one way to keep your smile healthy.
Dentists have long recommended regular brushing and flossing to clean and protect teeth. But what else can you add to your dental hygiene routine to ramp up your oral health? Are there more important things than brushing and flossing?
We have compiled this list of six tips for you to care for your teeth. Read on to find out how you can achieve a healthy smile.
1. Regular Brushing and Flossing
Brushing your teeth is the best way to keep your smile looking healthy. Cleaning between your teeth is also a major part of oral hygiene. Without these, plaque will build up on your teeth, causing problems for teeth and gums.
Brushing and flossing remove this plaque. Be sure to brush and floss your teeth twice a day every day. Even better, brush your teeth after each meal!
Fluoride toothpaste on a soft-bristled toothbrush is the best option. These two things together will prevent tooth decay. A soft-bristled brush protects your gums from harsh brushing.
Teach your kids early the importance of regular brushing and flossing. It will allow them to keep their healthy young smiles for life!
2. Healthy Diet, Healthy Smile
Choosing healthy foods helps with maintaining proper oral health. Crunchy fruits and vegetables work to remove plaque from your teeth while you chew. They also provide your body with nutrients to give you a healthy smile from the inside.
It is best to avoid eating foods with a lot of sugar in them. Sugar can cause plaque and tooth decay over time. If you plan to have a sugary treat, try to brush your teeth after eating to prevent plaque.
Acidic foods, such as citrus fruit, can also wreak havoc on your teeth. The acid in the food can wear away at your enamel. When this happens, bacteria that cause cavities and infection can enter your teeth.
A surprising food that is not tooth-friendly is crackers. Refined carbohydrates have been shown to cause inflammation in the body. This inflammation can lead to gingivitis and periodontitis (inflammation of the tissue surrounding teeth)
3. Visit the Dentist
Make sure you have appointments to visit your dentist every six months. Dentists can catch problems with your teeth early on. Routine check-ins with your dentist will keep your mouth looking and feeling healthy.
Regular dental cleanings not only prevent cavities, but they brighten your smile, too. Dental cleanings can remove tough stains with polishing. A dental cleaning can also remove excess plaque you cannot remove with brushing and flossing.
If you have a healthy smile, it contributes to a healthy overall body. Visiting the dentist on a regular basis can prevent conditions like bad breath and tooth loss. Getting a dental cleaning goes above and beyond what you can do with brushing and flossing at home.
4. Watch What You Drink
Not only do you need to be conscious of your diet, but you also need to be aware of what you are drinking. Water is the best drink you can choose when it comes to oral health. Fluoridated water is even better because fluoride helps protect and strengthen teeth.
Sugary and acidic beverages can damage your teeth. They can cause plaque buildup and the wearing of the enamel. Liquids can find their way between teeth, too, causing harder-to-reach buildup.
Dark liquids like coffee and tea can stain the teeth. Drinking these through a straw can protect your front teeth from staining. Though, it won’t protect your back teeth.
Both red and white wine contain acid that can soften your tooth enamel. Red wine dries your mouth out and stains your teeth. If you plan on drinking wine, brush your teeth before to remove the plaque that wine sticks to.
5. Stop Smoking and Tobacco Use
Those who smoke or use tobacco are at a higher risk of developing oral cancer, tooth loss, and other dental problems. The best option is to quit using these products to protect your oral and overall health. Tobacco use is not only detrimental to health, but it also causes discoloration of the teeth.
Smokers have twice the risk of developing gum disease than non-smokers. Smoking weakens your body’s immune system, making it hard to fight off infections and bacteria on the gums. Smoking also makes existing gum damage hard to heal.
If you continue to use tobacco, plan to visit your dentist for regular oral cancer checks. They can also detect other problems, such as tooth loss and gum disease, caused by tobacco.
6. Choose the Right Tools
If you are already doing everything listed above, great job! But, have you upgraded your dental tools lately? If not, it might be time to do that.
Using an electric toothbrush over a manual one can make for better oral hygiene. Electric toothbrushes can get in hard-to-reach places because of their smaller, moving heads. You can even use an app connected to your toothbrush to ensure you are brushing for the recommended time.
You also want to choose the tools that will motivate you to take proper care of your mouth. Choose flossing picks if you find that easier than traditional flossing. You can also carry around sugar-free gum for those times you cannot brush your teeth right after eating.
Small Steps Make a Big Difference
Making small changes to your oral hygiene routine can have a big impact on your healthy smile. Be sure you take all the necessary steps to reduce your risk for oral diseases and tooth problems. Brushing and flossing are the most important steps in maintaining a healthy smile.
Make sure you schedule your twice-yearly dental appointment, too! Contact our family dentistry office today to make your appointment. Let us help keep your smile bright and healthy!