Not only does your beautiful smile depend on good dental hygiene, but your dental health is also intricately linked to your overall health. Fortunately, taking excellent care of your teeth and gums takes just minutes a day. Here are four easy tips you should follow for optimal oral health.
Practice Proper Brushing and Flossing Techniques
Good brushing and flossing habits are essential to keep your teeth healthy and free of decay. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss daily. Brushing after every meal is even better, but if you can’t manage that, be sure to rinse your mouth with clean water after meals.
Here are a few more brushing and flossing tips most people miss:
- Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle - Brush across each tooth in short back-and-forth strokes. Be sure to brush the back, front, and chewing surface of each tooth.
- Change your toothbrush every three months – Bristles wear with use, and bacteria can accumulate on an older brush, so treat yourself to a shiny new one every few months.
- Don’t neglect your tongue - Brushing your tongue will freshen your breath and remove bacteria.
- Floss properly - Start with 18 inches of dental floss, and gently clean between each tooth, following the natural shape of the tooth. Be sure to gently clean beneath the gum line as well.
- Don’t brush too hard – Harsh brushing can wear down your tooth enamel and irritate your gums, leading to a host of health problems. Gentle brush strokes are the way to go.
See Your Dentist Regularly
Visiting your dentist every six months will ensure that your teeth are being cleaned properly, and that small problems don’t turn into big ones. Your dentist will give your teeth a deep, thorough cleaning, and check for signs of problems. If you are experiencing tooth pain, swollen gums, or sensitivity, it’s wise to schedule an appointment before the problem worsens.
Smoking and tobacco use lead to unsightly tooth discoloration, as well as weakened enamel and damaged gum tissue. Using tobacco products also puts you at a higher risk for periodontal disease and oral cancer. While quitting is a daunting task, the health benefits are enormous and worth the extra effort.
Avoid Sugary Soft Drinks
Did you know that sugar is the biggest culprit of tooth decay? Sugary soft drinks feed the bacteria that eat away at tooth enamel and cause cavities. Avoiding heavily sweetened drinks will help your teeth stay strong and healthy. If you do indulge in drinks with a high sugar content, be sure to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with clean water as soon as possible.
These four simple tactics will go a long way toward maintaining optimal oral health. Need to make a dental appointment? Don’t wait — give our office a call today.