The very first basic way to keep your teeth healthy is to brush at least twice a day. Whether you use a manual toothbrush or an electric one, the head of the brush should be small to allow better access to teeth in the back of your mouth. You also need to be sure the bristles are soft enough to do the job but don’t damage the gums.
Dentists believe that fluoridated toothpaste helps harden tooth enamel and reduces tooth decay. That has been the standard theory since fluoride was added to water in 1948 after nearly 40 years of studying the substance in water. People who drank fluoridated water were seen to have fewer cavities and subsequently, fluoride was also added to toothpaste.
When brushing your teeth, it is best to take at least two to three minutes and do a thorough job. Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and establish a pattern of where you brush so you are sure to hit every tooth. You can set a timer or the clock on your phone to let you know when you’ve brushed long enough.
If you frequently ingest soft drinks, sugar laden fruit juices, and sweet liquors, think about limiting the amount you drink. Sugar is one of the worst substances for your teeth as well as your body. Sugar feeds the bad bacteria and encourages tooth decay. It also turns the sugar into acid which can dissolve the minerals in enamel.
If you or your children play sports, protect your teeth from injury by wearing a mouthguard or full-face helmet. Helmets also protect the head and mouth when riding bikes and motorcycles. If a tooth does get knocked out, hold the tooth in the mouth, in place if possible, or place it in milk and seek dental help immediately.
Don’t use your teeth to crack nuts, open bottles, cans, plastic bags, or anything else. You can chip or even break your teeth this way. We may think teeth are indestructible, but you can break off a piece of tooth, crack a tooth, or destroy it completely with these activities.
The most important tip is to see your dentist regularly for cleanings and check-ups. In addition, call your dentist right away if you develop a toothache, bleeding gums, or pain in your jaw. These signs may be signaling something wrong and if you let them go on too long, you can lose a tooth, or cause an infection to transfer to other parts of the body.