Tips for Good Oral Health
Maintaining healthy teeth and gums with daily cleansing routines keeps cavities and other problems from developing. Here are some things to incorporate into your oral health routine.
Brush at least twice a day. It’s best to brush after each meal, but make it a minimum of morning and evening.
Use fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoride helps to harden tooth enamel and reduces the risk of cavities.
Brush thoroughly. Most people don’t brush the recommended two-three minutes each time they brush. Set the timer on your watch or phone and spend the extra minute or two to do a thorough job of brushing.
Floss daily. Flossing removes food particles that your toothbrush can’t reach and helps keep plaque from forming in those hard to reach spaces. If you can’t manage a string of floss, look for flossing aids at the drugstore. Those tools make flossing very easy.
Give up or limit acidic soft drinks. Chemicals in soft drinks are not friends to your mouth or overall health. Acid in these foods can soften tooth material and dissolve the minerals in tooth enamel, causing cavities.
Limit sugary foods and added sugar fruit juices. Excess sugar is deadly to teeth and gums as well as overall health. Bacteria in dental plaque change sugars into acids. Go for 100% fruit juice with no added sugar and limit these as fruit contains sugar.
Protect your teeth from injury. Don’t use your teeth to open bottles, open packages, or crack nuts. You can chip or crack a tooth. If you play sports, wear a mouthguard or full-face helmet.
See your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups. Besides your twice-yearly cleaning, you should see your dentist right away if you develop a toothache or bleeding gums. Even jaw pain that doesn’t go away may signal a serious problem.