Good oral health does not start in the dentist’s office, it begins at home. You set the stage for a lifetime of dental care, and the habits that you create and establish for you and your family members will determine what kind of dental experiences they have as they go through life.
Regardless of what Mother Nature blessed you with, it is critical that you develop and maintain good oral care habits to ensure that you minimize oral and other health issues that could have been prevented. Here are some simple steps that you need to incorporate into your daily care routine for a sparkling and healthy smile:
1. Always brush before bed
In a typical day, your mouth is exposed to all sorts of potential decay-causing substances—-acidic and sticky food and drink, bacteria, and perhaps tobacco and alcoholic beverages, all of which leave residue on teeth that could contribute to decay. Brushing before bed removes a great deal of this residue, leaving your mouth clean and free of debris. Resist the urge to snack at midnight as well, for this can also leave food particles and residue in the mouth that can contribute to decay.
2. Brush properly!
While we’re on the subject, it is important to brush properly in order to reap maximum benefits. Move a soft-bristled brush along both tooth surfaces and gums in a gentle, circular motion to remove plaque and food particles. Spending too much time in one area could potentially damage soft tissues and even erode enamel; aim for reaching all surfaces in the mouth when brushing, dividing your time equally among them.
3. Don’t forget that tongue!
Your tongue holds onto much of the food residue and bacteria that reside in your mouth; it is essential that you brush and clean it as well. Include your tongue in your brushing activity, and see and feel cleaner results almost immediately.
4. Use fluoride toothpaste
We tend to look for a toothpaste that tastes fresh, delivers whitening power, or eliminates tooth sensitivity. If we neglect to look for one that is ADA approved that contains fluoride, we are missing the mark. Look for that important American Dental Association seal of approval and make sure that it contains this protectant that can strengthen tooth enamel and reduce the possibility of decay.
5. Shift your attitude about flossing
Flossing is JUST as important as brushing, and you simply must incorporate it into your daily routine for good oral health. Flossing gets in between teeth and along the gumline in areas that are hard to reach with a toothbrush; the act of flossing removes up to 40 percent more debris from the mouth than brushing alone. In addition, flossing can help to stimulate healthy blood circulation in the gums and soft tissues of the mouth, helping to reduce the risk of infections. Don’t let flossing difficulties stop you, either. Take your time, be patient, and you’ll see results that justify the extra time spent in the mirror.
6. Consider the use of a mouthwash
Most of us do not think that mouthwash is a necessary part of oral care, but that is because we don’t realize what mouthwash does for us. Mouthwash reduces the amount of acid present in the mouth, it helps to clean hard to brush areas in between teeth and around the gums, and it can even re-mineralize tooth surfaces. When you consider all the benefits that come from just a simple swish, there really is no reason not to incorporate it into your daily care plan.
7. Drink more water
Water will always be considered the best beverage not only for your overall health but your oral health as well. Drinking water during and after meals can help to wash down excess food particles and change the PH of the mouth, reducing its acidic buildup.
8. Improve your diet
Changing out some of your processed foods in favor of crunchy fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains will help to improve your overall health. Adding a few pieces of produce with substance will help strengthen teeth and stimulate the salivary glands, keeping teeth free of residue.
9. Cut back on sugary, sticky, and acidic
Nothing erodes tooth enamel more than the wrong foods. Candies, sticky foods, and drinks and sauces that are overly acidic are particularly damaging to teeth. Try to cut back on consumption of these foods, but if you are still wanting the occasional treat every now and then, get in the habit of brushing your teeth after a damaging food to remove residue that could quickly form into plaque. Your dentist will thank you.
10. Visit your dental care professionals at least twice a year
Part of a comprehensive oral health plan includes seeing your dentist twice a year for deep cleaning, inspection, and x-rays of mouth, teeth, and gums. In doing so, you can proactively manage your dental care and quickly take care of any issues that do arise; talk to your dentist about treatment decisions and lifestyle changes that can be made to improve your oral health.
Dr. Eric Mehler: Your Partner In Wellness
Regardless of where you are in your oral health journey, we would like to partner with you to create that vibrant smile you love. Using cutting edge care techniques and a focus on comfort and patient care, we will collaborate with you, our valued partners, to create dental plans that work for you, your mouth, and your budget. Let the knowledgeable staff at our office in Sunrise, Fl. will help you to create your brightest and most beautiful smile yet! Contact us today for more information.