5 Tips for a Healthy Smile
Follow our tips below to make sure your mouth and your smile are in tip top condition.
1. Brush and Floss Your Teeth Every Day
Brushing removes leftover food particles that can bond with saliva to form plaque. These particles feed the bacteria that naturally live in our mouths and these bacteria can eat through our tooth enamel and cause tooth decay. Because plaque can harden into tartar, frequent brushing helps your teeth stay whiter and healthier than in people who brush less often. When brushing your teeth, be sure to use a quality electric toothbrush or a soft bristled manual brush. Angle the bristles toward the gumline at a 45-degree angle, with just enough pressure to make the tissue a lighter color. Gently make small strokes, focusing on one or two teeth at a time. Don’t forget to brush your gums…this will keep your gums healthy and remove the most plaque. When you brush your teeth, be sure to brush your tongue. Running your toothbrush over the white or yellow area at the back of your tongue helps to remove the foul-smelling bacterial waste that causes bad breath.
Flossing is important because it removes plaque between teeth and out from under the gumlines, where a toothbrush can’t reach. If left alone, plaque and tartar build up under the surface of the gumlines can cause periodontal disease, which leads to bone destruction and tooth loss. Nightly flossing helps prevent tooth decay and gingivitis. To floss properly, wrap the floss tightly around your finger and insert in the space between your teeth. Gently slide it up and down under the gumlines two to three times. If bleeding occurs, this is most likely due to gingivitis or gum disease. When flossing daily, the bleeding associated with mild to moderate gingivitis usually stops after about two weeks. If you have braces or other orthodontic appliances…try using a floss threader to help you floss between and around each bracket.
2. Use Fluoride Toothpaste
Fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel, making it an important additive to toothpaste. Using toothpaste and mouthwash with fluoride can reverse tooth decay at early stages, reducing the need for fillings.
3. Take Good Care of Your Toothbrush
Your toothbrush doesn’t need any special cleaning, but make sure it dries completely after each use and there is no leftover toothpaste. Store your toothbrush in an upright position that is exposed to air. Don’t forget to change out your old toothbrush for a fresh new toothbrush every 3 to 4 months…or earlier if you see a lot of wear and tear on the bristles.
4. Drink Plenty of Water
Water is the healthiest drink for your smile and your body. Drinking water helps rinse teeth clean and discourages tooth decay. Not only that…but keeping your body hydrated helps your mouth produce enough saliva to keep your mouth and teeth clean. Saliva naturally washes out the mouth, removing oral bacteria and the food particles that they feed upon.
5. See Your Regular Dentist Twice a Year
Regular dental visits are necessary to preserving your oral health. Having routine cleanings every six months helps to promote good oral health and a beautiful smile. Your dentist is trained to recognize early signs of tooth decay and gum disease before they cause severe damage to your teeth and mouth. Regular checkups are the key to maintaining a healthy smile. Visiting your dentist twice a year can help you avoid complicated and expensive dental procedures later in life.
It can take some time before you start to notice changes from improved oral hygiene. While these changes won’t come overnight, they are certainly worth the time and effort, both for the sake of your smile and your overall health. If you have any questions regarding the health of your teeth and mouth, don’t hesitate to call our office.