Everyone wants a beautiful, healthy smile. Learning how to properly care for your teeth can prevent decay and ensure your teeth will last a lifetime. Continue reading to learn more about how to keep your teeth healthy.
- Choose the Right Toothbrush
For best results, opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush that is multi-tufted and fits comfortably in your mouth. If you have grip issues, such as arthritis, opt for a toothbrush with an easy grip handle or an electric toothbrush. When the bristles of your toothbrush begin to show wear, buy a new toothbrush. Most dentists recommend replacing your toothbrush every three months. Finally, ask your dental hygienist or dentist to show you the best way to brush your teeth to remove plaque. Learning how to properly brush your teeth will also help prevent damage to the gums and teeth.
- Be Gentle when Brushing Your Teeth and Do Not Brush too Often
Most people think they need to brush their teeth after every meal, before bed and upon waking. This is actually too much tooth brushing. Over-brushing your teeth can damage the surface of the teeth and cause your gums to recede. When the gums recede, the root of the tooth can become exposed. This exposure can increase the risk of tooth decay and can cause your teeth to become sensitive. The roots of the teeth are not protected with enamel like the crowns (the part above the gums) of the teeth are.
When you are brushing your teeth, you do not need to brush hard to remove plaque and food particles. Instead, brush using a soft toothbrush. Finally, you should brush your teeth in the morning and the night for around two minutes. If you feel you need to freshen your mouth between brushings, enjoy an apple, a carrot or a piece of celery. The fibre in these fruits and vegetables will help remove the bio-film on the teeth and make your mouth feel fresher.
- Floss Once a Day
Flossing removes plaque between your teeth and along the gum line where your toothbrush cannot reach. If plaque is allowed to remain on the teeth, it can lead to tooth decay. Talk with your dentist to learn how to properly floss your teeth. Many people are surprised to find that brushing their teeth only removes about 60 percent of the plaque. Flossing will remove the rest of the plaque on your teeth.
- Avoid Sugary Foods and Snacking
The National Institutes of Health reports that although tooth decay is preventable, it is a common problem in both children and adults. Sugary foods can lead to tooth decay. When sugar is consumed, it feeds the bacteria in the mouth. When the bacteria is fed, acids are released, which leads to decay. Therefore, the less sugar and starchy foods you eat, the better your oral health will be.
- Tub Your Tongue Across Your Teeth
Do you want to know how good of a job you did brushing your teeth? You could either use a special tablet that contains a dye that reacts to the bacteria in the mouth and shows you the areas that you have missed. Another way you can check to see if you did a good job brushing your teeth is to run your tongue along the surfaces of your teeth. If the teeth feel smooth, you have probably done a good job brushing your teeth.
- Alert Your Dentist if You Notice any Lumps, Bumps or Bleeding in Your Mouth
Most of the time a bump in your mouth is harmless; however, it can also be an early warning sign of something more serious. If you experience anything unusual such as pain, discoloration, bleeding, sensitivity or a lump, contact your dentist and schedule an emergency dentistry appointment. At your appointment, your dentist will examine your mouth and look for signs of a more serious condition and recommend any necessary treatment.
- Avoid Bad Habit that Can Affect Your Oral Health
Tobacco products and alcohol can negatively impact your oral health. Furthermore, biting your fingernails or a pencil can damage your tooth enamel. An oral piercing can also increase the risk of gum problems and chipping. If you play a sport, wear a mouthguard to decrease the risk of an oral injury. Finally, if you clench or grind your teeth, ask your dentist about a special mouthguard to wear at night to help protect your teeth from damage. When you visit your doctor, discuss any bad habit you have and ask for suggestions on how to minimize tooth damage.
Follow the seven tips listed above to prevent tooth decay and damage. Visit your dentist regularly and practice good oral hygiene for a beautiful, healthy smile.