While you may frequently think about your physical health, oral health isn’t always at the top of your priority list.
But there are good reasons why it should be.
Taking care of your teeth is the best way to prevent harm and discomfort that may lead to expensive dental procedures in the future.
Curious about the best ways to maintain oral health? Here are 7 things you can do (they might be easier than you think).
It isn’t fun, but it’s incredibly important to visit a dentist at least twice each year for a cleaning and dental exam.
A dentist can identify problems you may not even realize exist, like finding a cavity and treating it before it becomes a painful or more serious condition.
Getting your teeth cleaned also helps avoid gum disease or tooth decay and the problems that come with them in the first place.
It’s all too easy to skip your twice-daily tooth brushing routine, but it may have more serious consequences than you realize.
Brushing your teeth regularly (at least twice a day) clears away bacteria and plaque that cause problems with your dental health. It helps you fight cavities and tooth discoloration, among other benefits.
Choose a toothpaste that contains fluoride and brush gently for at least 2 minutes to see the most benefits.
Unfortunately, it’s not enough to just brush your teeth twice each day. If you really want to take great care of your teeth and avoid painful dental procedures, you also need to floss every day.
When you do it right, flossing allows you to reach parts of your teeth that a brush doesn’t clean, such as the gumline.
Grip a long strip of floss between your fingers and gently slide it around the curve of your teeth near your gums.
If gentle flossing causes your gums to bleed frequently, you’ll want to check in with your dentist.
Brushing and flossing are essential, but using mouthwash afterwards can help eliminate any remaining bacteria hiding in places you can’t reach.
Ask your dentist for advice about what kind of mouthwash is right for you.
There’s a wide variety, and you may need to use one that is alcohol-free or formulated specifically for sensitive teeth.
Mouthwash can be a great way to help kids maintain oral health while they’re still learning how to brush properly. Just make sure you teach them how to use it the right way, and select a formulation made for kids.
Almost everyone is aware that sugar is harmful to your teeth. But have you ever thought about why?
Food and drinks containing sugar convert to acid in your mouth, and allowing that acid to linger breaks down the enamel of your teeth, increasing your risk of developing cavities or decay.
The same goes for foods containing starch, such as rice, pasta, bread, and other carbohydrates.
Because acid can be so harmful, be sure to limit acidic foods and beverages like coffee and tea.
Drinking water (and plenty of it) is an excellent way to maintain both your physical and oral health.
While you probably drink water during meals, it’s also a good idea to drink water after you eat. It helps rinse away particles of food and acid that lingers after a meal, which can lead to cavities.
Many people grind their teeth at night; about 85-90% of us will experience this issue (called Bruxism) at some point.
Bruxism might disrupt your ability to sleep well, cause headaches or pain in your facial muscles and jaw, wear down your tooth structure and enamel, or even trigger more serious issues like TMJ (a temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder).
Invest in a custom night guard. You can get one from your dentist, but there are also highly-rated alternatives such as JS Dental Labs that offer quality products with a 100% at-home process.
Custom night guards can help reduce existing pain and help prevent further issues. When you are protected from clenching and grinding your teeth at night, you may also sleep better!
Taking care of your teeth might feel like a chore sometimes, but it’s worth the effort.
It’s easier, less expensive, and less painful to prevent dental issues than to treat them after they’ve developed.
Keep these tips in mind to maintain a healthy smile.
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