A lot goes into taking proper care of your teeth. The foods you eat, the way you brush your teeth, and how often you visit the dentist can all impact the appearance, function, and health of your smile. Follow these simple tips to take better care of your smile every day.
Make Sure You’re Brushing Properly
Proper brushing is the most important part of maintaining oral health. You might think that you’re brushing correctly, but have you taken a close look at your routine?
First, make sure that you’re brushing twice each day. You should brush for around two minutes each time. Unfortunately, many people brush far too quickly. You can set a timer to see what two minutes of brushing feels like. Flossing should be done at least once a day as well.
Brushing and flossing help manage the bacteria in your mouth, removing both excess bacteria and the food they rely on. This helps prevent both tooth decay and gum disease, shoring up your oral health.
Consider Your Vitamin and Mineral Intake
The food you eat plays a big part in your oral health and whole-body health. There are many vitamins and minerals that you should get every day, and a few of them have very significant impacts on your oral health.
Calcium is, of course, one of the most essential. It provides the materials needed for strong bones and teeth, giving you harder enamel and a stronger jawbone. Dairy products are a great source of calcium, as are dark leafy greens and beans.
Vitamin D is just as important for your teeth. It plays a vital role in helping your body absorb calcium, and it aids in tooth remineralization. Some food products are fortified with vitamin D, including many types of milk and orange juice.
Watch Out for Acidic Drinks
Avoiding soda and other sugary drinks is an important piece of dental advice. Sugar provides food for bacteria, letting them grow in greater numbers.
However, acidic drinks are just as important to avoid. The acid found in many common beverages can soften and weaken tooth enamel. This effect accelerates tooth decay, leading to cavities and other issues.
Carbonated beverages like soda and sparkling water are acidic due to carbonic acid. Soda also contains phosphoric and citric acids, which you can find in juices and other non-carbonated beverages as well. Coffee is another acidic beverage, as is wine.
Don’t Skip Routine Dental Visits
The oral hygiene and diet you maintain at home are important, but so is visiting your dentist for routine exams and dental cleanings. You should visit once every six months for this important preventive dental care.
A routine exam can identify issues before they become serious, which can mean more straightforward treatment and better results. Skipping a dental exam can let problems develop over time into something much more serious.
Teeth cleaning is just as important. Your teeth develop plaque and tartar deposits over time, and regular brushing can’t remove them. Professional teeth cleaning uses special tools to remove these deposits and prevent further tooth decay.
Replace Your Toothbrush as Needed
When was the last time you replaced your toothbrush? If you can’t remember, it could be time for a new one. You should replace your toothbrush once every three to four months.
Watch out for signs that your toothbrush needs to be replaced. As you brush, the bristles on your toothbrush eventually lose their firmness and end up frayed and worn. The bristles then provide less coverage during brushing and are less effective at removing bacteria and food debris.
Try to Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated by drinking water throughout the day is great for your overall health. It also benefits your oral health. Staying hydrated supports proper saliva production, which plays a role in preventing tooth decay and gum disease.
Saliva helps inhibit the growth of bacteria in your mouth. If you aren’t making enough saliva, you can experience dry mouth. Bacteria can grow more easily, leading to tooth decay and gum disease.
If you experience dry mouth regularly, you should bring it up with your dentist. If your mouth is dry upon waking, you may have sleep apnea, which can have a serious impact on your oral health.
Make Sure All of Your Dental Needs Are Met
Following these tips can provide a great foundation for oral health, but even healthy smiles need dental treatment from time to time. Dr. Brett Langston and the team at Dental Implant and Aesthetic Specialists of Atlanta provide a full range of dental services to protect and restore your smile. Reach out today to book your appointment.