A brilliant and contagious smile comes from great oral hygiene habits. If you don’t practice proper dental care, you leave yourself at risk for a host of medical problems including infection, gum disease, diabetes, stroke, heart conditions and more. Routine teeth cleanings and exams can prevent or treat budding issues and help maintain your good overall health.
How to Achieve Optimal Oral Health
There are quite a few steps you can take to promote better oral health:
Teeth Brushing: The easiest way to clean your teeth is to brush properly. Start by positioning the brush head at a 45-degree angle at the gum line. With a gentle circular motion brush all tooth surfaces, both inner and outer. Be sure to also clean your upper palate and tongue to remove bacteria build up. Brush at least two times per day. After every meal, rinse with water to loosen and remove food particles and wash away some bacteria.
Flossing: Although, flossing is often viewed as a miserable chore, one so many avoid, it plays a vital role in the tooth cleaning process. Proper flossing removes leftover debris, harmful bacteria, and plaque in hard to reach mouth areas. Even water or mouth rinse cannot reach under the gum and between tight teeth.
Avoid Tobacco: There are countless reasons to quit smoking or never start using tobacco products. First, you will protect your mouth against foul odor and teeth staining, and second, you reduce the risk of oral cancer and periodontal disease.
Limit Sodas, Coffee, and Alcohol: Beverages that are high in phosphorus can rob the body of essential calcium stores. In addition, these types of drinks contain dyes, corn syrup and other additives that can cause discoloration, tooth decay, and more oral health issues.
Eat Calcium and Other Vitamins That Are Good for The Body: Be sure to get all the essential nutrients you need by drinking lots of calcium-rich milk, yogurt, cheese, fortified orange juice, broccoli and other quality foods. It also helps to add a daily multi-vitamin supplement to your diet.
Visit Your Dentist: Keep up with twice yearly dental exams and professional teeth cleanings, or as recommended by your dentist. Preventative care is important for lifelong oral health.
Use Mouthwash: A good mouth rinse is not absolutely necessary but can be a helpful accompaniment to brushing and flossing. Antibacterial rinses like Listerine are worthwhile because they help rid you of harmful mouth bacteria and freshen your breath.
Have a Painful Tooth Examined: Never ignore persistent tooth or jaw pain. Early intervention is very important, so we can diagnose and treat the problem before it worsens.
Think About the Long-Term: If you take good care of your smile now, you will avoid high dental bills later and poor health. You can potentially avoid medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, systemic infections, tooth problems and gum disease.
Clean Your Tongue: Scrape your tongue every day to remove bacteria build up. You can use a professional tool or use the bristles on your toothbrush to clean the surface. The rough top surface is a breeding ground for mouth bacteria. If you don’t keep the area clean, it can lead to bad breath and other dental problems.