If you’ve ever experienced a toothache, you’ll know it’s one of the worst types of pain you can have. But the good news is this pain is totally preventable if you maintain good oral hygiene. If you practice good hygiene, you’ll likely never face any dental problems.
But it’s about so much more than preventing pain. If your oral health is poor, it can affect your general well-being. For example, unhealthy teeth and gums make you more likely to avoid social interactions. This could lead to feelings of isolation, which might cause depression. It’s a long list.
Still, achieving a healthy-looking, beautiful smile doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lifetime of care and consistency to keep your teeth and gums healthy. We’ve compiled a list of tips on ensuring optimal oral health. Let’s get started.
1- Get Regular Dental Checkups
If you only book an appointment with your dentist when you’re in pain, you’re doing something wrong. The goal is to prevent the pain from happening in the first place. That’s why getting a dental checkup every six months is important.
During these visits, your dental care provider will professionally clean your teeth, removing all the impurities that normal toothbrushing won’t do. Additionally, your dentist will be able to check for any other concerns like cavities or other infections. After that, they might recommend treatment options like fillings or placing silver caps on teeth that are damaged or decayed. Without timely intervention, these issues could progress and cause further damage.
2- Brush Properly
You learn the importance of brushing your teeth from an early age. Once in the morning and once at night. But if not done in the right way, it might not be effective at all. So, what’s the right way?
First, ensure you’re using a nice, soft-bristled toothbrush. This will prevent the exertion of excessive force that could wear away your teeth. If you use too much force, your teeth will suffer the consequences, and your gums might start to recede, making your teeth sensitive and ruining your smile.
On your toothbrush, apply a pea-sized amount of fluoride-containing toothpaste. When you start to brush, use vertical, sweeping, or circular motions and clean each surface of your teeth. However, horizontal sawing motions are too harsh on the teeth and must be avoided.
3- Change Your Eating Habits
Good eating habits are good for your overall health, but they can be a game changer for your teeth and gums. Certain foods like candies, fruit juices, sodas, and other processed food contain sugar and acids, which can cause cavities in your teeth.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t have these foods at all. Sure, having a snack once in a while is okay. But what really matters is the frequency. Frequent snacking means your mouth doesn’t have enough time to regain its pH levels, making the teeth more vulnerable to decay.
So, what can you do? Avoid eating sugary or sticky foods. If you must have them, limit your mealtime intake and prevent snacking on them in between. If you love snacking, go for tooth-friendly options like baby carrots or other low-sugar options.
4- Quit Smoking
Smoking destroys pretty much everything in your body – including the health of your teeth and gums. Cigarette smoke can cause aggressive staining on our teeth and turn them greyish and yellow. Although the color of our teeth naturally changes as we age, we still want to preserve a bright and clean look, and smoke stains can hinder that.
But the more serious problem arises in your gums. Did you know that smokers have twice the risk of developing gum disease than non-smokers? This is because smoking damages your immune system, making it harder to fight off any infections. But the scarier part is smoking can even mask the signs of gum infection, making it harder to detect. And once detected, a smoker’s gums are harder to heal.
5- Don’t Forget to Floss
You might not think so, but flossing is an important part of your dental care routine. Many people skip this step because it’s hard or takes time, or they’re just lazy, but here’s why it’s important. There’s only so much your toothbrush can do. The tiny particles of food and plaque stuck in the tight spaces between your teeth need to be cleaned too, and the only way is to floss.
This dentist who does dental implants in Chesapeake also adds that you can also use interdental brushes instead of dental floss to clean the gaps between your teeth.
6- Protect Your Teeth
There are certain things we do in our daily lives that can offer a bit of extra protection to our teeth. For example, if you play sports regularly or participate in other activities that could cause you to fall and hurt yourself, consider wearing a mouthguard to prevent damage to your teeth.
Besides this, avoid actively doing things that can harm your teeth. Next time you see yourself opening a package with your teeth, stop and reach for scissors instead. The same goes for opening bottles with your mouth or biting into objects that aren’t food.
To sum it up, the health of your teeth and gums is more important than you know. An unhealthy mouth can cause so many problems for you. For example, tooth decay can cause infections that may spread to other parts of your body and even increase your chances of heart disease. But most of all, they affect your self-confidence, which can spiral into other areas of your life, personally and professionally.
By following the tips above, you can avoid many unnecessary problems. Not only will you have beautiful teeth and gums, but you’ll also see your overall health and well-being improve.
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