The best way to protect your oral health is to adopt good habits, such as brushing your teeth twice a day and seeing your dentist every 6 months. We know from experience that patients with the healthiest smiles are those that understand the value of preventive dentistry. It’s never too late to start taking control of your oral health, which is why we’re offering our 7 best tips for getting healthy teeth and gums.
Plaque is an invisible film of bacteria that sticks to your teeth and gums. Over time, this plaque eats sugar and starch to produce acid. This acid erodes tooth enamel and attacks your gums, putting you at risk for oral health issues. Fortunately, our dentists are able to remove plaque and tartar, as well as advise you on how to maintain a healthy smile.
1. First Key to Healthy Teeth: Brushing Teeth
Brushing the teeth is one of the most important way for teeth care. Without it, the risk of dental diseases becomes higher. Experts advice to brush your teeth twice a day. The first steps of the protection of teeth is choosing the right toothpaste and brushing twice a day for removing the plaque and food remainings.
2. Brush Properly
The way you brush is equally important — in fact, doing a poor job of brushing your teeth is almost as bad as not brushing at all. Take your time, moving the toothbrush in gentle, circular motions to remove plaque. Unremoved plaque can harden, leading to calculus buildup and gingivitis (early gum disease).
3. Avoid Abrasive Whitening Gums
Some whitening chewing gums might tempt you, due to their convenience and whitening effect. But these chewing gums have abrasive substances, designed to scrape stains away as you chew. The trouble is, they take your enamel with them, weakening your teeth’s defenses.
It’s best to consider all options if you’re interested in teeth whitening, especially those that preserve your enamel.
4. Pick the Right Toothpaste
As long as you’re brushing properly, just about any toothpaste will work, but if you suffer from chronic decay, have weakened tooth enamel, or experience dental sensitivity, you may want to pay more attention to what products you use. Toothpaste with fluoride is great to reduce the risk of tooth decay and strengthen weakened enamel. Toothpaste that uses a combination of fluoride and potassium nitrate is best for patients with dental sensitivity.
5. See a Dentist Regularly
Experts recommend that people see a dentist every 6 months for a checkup. During a routine dental examination, a hygienist will clean the teeth and remove plaque and hardened tartar.
The dentist will check for visual signs of cavities, gum disease, mouth cancer, and other oral health issues. They may sometimes also use dental X-rays to check for cavities.
The results of a recent study confirmed that children and adolescents should see a dentist every 6 months to help prevent cavities. However, adults who practice good dental hygiene every day and have a low risk of oral health problems may be able to go less frequently.
The authors of a recent reviewTrusted Source state that there is a need for more high-quality studies to confirm the ideal frequency of dental checkups.
6. Floss Once Daily
Flossing every day is highly recommended if you want to maintain healthy teeth and gums. It can help prevent tarter buildup, tooth decay and bad breath. Flossing also removes plaque and food that is beyond the reach of your toothbrush.
7. Avoid Sugary Foods
When bacteria in the mouth break down simple sugars, they produce acids that can erode tooth enamel, opening the door to decay. “Sugary drinks, including soft drinks and fruit drinks, pose a special threat because people tend to sip them, raising acid levels over a long period of time,” says Steven E. Schonfeld, DDS, PhD, a dentist in private practice and spokesperson for the American Dental Association. “Carbonated drinks may make matters worse, since carbonation also increases acidity.” Sticky candies are another culprit, because they linger on teeth surfaces.