Knowing how to keep your teeth healthy is something that should be important to us all. Practicing good oral hygiene from a young age to adulthood can help make a big difference in your life.
Unfortunately, many people don’t know as much about taking care of their dental hygiene as they should. Not looking after your teeth can lead to plaque build-up, bad breath, and more serious problems like periodontal disease.
Thankfully, there are several ways to help keep your teeth as healthy as possible. Read on to learn the 10 top tips for looking after your teeth.
1. Schedule Regular Dental Appointments
It’s strongly recommended that people visit a dentist at least once every six months. But limited budgets and lack of dental insurance force people to postpone the visits until they can afford them.
While the lack of finances is a dilemma facing many people, you should look into alternative routes (budgeting, payment plans, etc) to help afford a yearly examination. This is because the snowballing effects of not having regular treatments or cleaning can lead to a more expensive dental emergency.
If you still can’t afford a yearly examination, you should consider getting one of those free offers or reduced-cost services provided by schools of dentistry.
2. Avoid Snacking
Although brushing may clear food particles and bacteria, snacking afterward can be counter-intuitive. Eating your snack without brushing re-introduces food particles and sugars to your teeth which feeds the harmful bacteria. Avoid overindulging in sugary and processed snacks.
3. Use Fluoride Toothpaste
When looking for a toothpaste, there are more vital elements to look for than flavors and whitening powder. Whatever your choice, make sure it includes fluoride.
Despite fluoride being continuously scrutinized by those worried about its impact on other aspects of health, it’s still a staple in oral hygiene. One reason is that fluoride leads to defending the teeth against decay. It works by forming a protective barrier around your teeth and killing germs that might lead to decay.
4. Brush Correctly
While this might seem like an obvious tip about how to keep your teeth healthy, it is often overlooked and neglected by many. To brush correctly, focus on the right area─ where your teeth and gum meet. This is the region where gum disease likes attacking the most.
Also, brush at least twice daily. Brushing for just two minutes, twice daily, will substantially help reduce possible dental issues. Remember not to brush too hard as it may damage your gums and wear down your enamel.
Don’t forget to use the soft, ridged flipside of your toothbrush head. It’s actually a massager, so rub it gently against the base of your gums to improve circulation.
5. Floss Daily
Flossing can remove bacteria and plaque stuck between the teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. It can help remove food and debris which can prevent bad breath.
Most professionals recommend flossing once a day. To floss, gently push the floss all the way down to your gum line. Then, press against the side of the tooth with up-down motions.
6. Eat Smart
At every age, a well-balanced diet is good for both dental and overall health so make healthy food choices. For healthy teeth, eat whole foods to get the nutrients you need. Eating nuts, grains, vegetables, and fruits and some dairy is good for your teeth and gums.
Consuming the right vitamins is useful not only to your overall health but also to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Vitamins help in building and repairing connective tissues. Also, consuming omega-3 (from fish, etc.) may help minimize inflammation and reduce the risk of gum disease.
7. Quit Smoking
Smoking is just as detrimental for your teeth as it is for your general health. This is why if you chew or smoke tobacco, you should consider quitting. Heavy smoking, particularly tobacco, leads to teeth stains and significantly increases the risk of oral cancer and gum disease. Decreasing or quitting completely can lead to great improvements.
8. Try Oil Pulling or Tongue Scraping
Oil pulling is an alternative oral health practice developed in India over 3,000 years ago. To “oil pull” you should place a small amount of sesame or coconut oil in the mouth and swish it gently between the teeth before spitting it. This creates surroundings where single-celled organisms like the germs responsible for tooth decay stick together.
Tongue scraping is another widespread Eastern oral care practice. It involves scraping your tongue with special curved instruments. This helps to remove some food residues, yeast cultures, and potentially hazardous bacteria.
You may want to add a tongue scraping just before the final rinse. Oil pulling is ideal right before bed and/or when you first wake up.
9. Drink Enough Water
It’s impossible to overemphasize how water is vital to your body. Drinking water helps to flush away food and any other elements that might remain in your mouth after a meal. This may help lower the chances of tooth decay.
Drinking water also helps neutralize mouth pH, adjusting it from slightly acidic pH to neutral. This way it contributes to stopping the acids from “eating away,” the enamel of your teeth. You can quickly introduce this tip into your life by having a bottle of water with you most (if not all) of the time.
10. Be Caution of Harsh Blows to the Teeth
Recreational activities and sports build healthy bodies. Yet certain activities, like skateboarding or rollerblading, can pose a danger to your teeth.
If you participate in such sports that may lead to physical injuries, make sure you wear a mouthguard for teeth protection. Check with your dentist for a custom-fitted mouthguard or buy one at a sporting goods store.
Learn How to Keep Your Teeth Healthy
We all want to wear a perfect smile and have our teeth in the perfect condition they can be. This is why dental hygiene should (always) be part of your strategy for maintaining a healthy body.
Therefore, knowing how to keep your teeth healthy today is a good way to start your cavity-free journey. And by following the above dental tips, you’ll be able to do everything in your power to keep your teeth strong and healthy.