Taking the right steps to protect your teeth can provide you with a strong, beautiful, and healthy smile for years to come. However, it isn’t always clear what those steps should be. To safeguard your smile and enjoy long-term oral health, try this practical advice from your local dentist!
Make Sure That You’re Brushing and Flossing Correctly
Brushing and flossing are essential to maintaining your oral health. However, you also need to ensure you’re using the proper technique. If you aren’t, you could limit the impact of your brushing or even cause damage to your teeth.
The most important element is to ensure you’re brushing long enough each time. In general, that means two minutes. You can’t brush harder to get it done quicker. In fact, brushing harder can actually do damage to your gums and teeth. It can wear down the enamel, increasing your risk of tooth decay.
Moving in circles rather than brushing back and forth is also best. This is why an electric toothbrush can be a great investment in your oral health. Make sure to cover every tooth surface while using one. And when flossing, get in between every gap without skipping over any teeth.
Keep Up With Your Oral Hygiene Routine
Consistency is key when it comes to protecting your smile. You’ll only get the benefits of your oral hygiene routine when you keep up with it every day.
It might seem tempting to skip over it sometimes, but this greatly increases your risk of tooth decay. You also risk falling into a habit of skipping brushing completely, which can have serious consequences.
If you’re having trouble maintaining your routine, try taking steps to make it easier. Set a reminder on your phone so that you don’t forget. Alternatively, rearrange your morning and bedtime routines to center around brushing so you’re less likely to opt-out. Making brushing the very first step, rather than the last, can help.
Take Advantage of Fluoride Treatment From Your Dentist
Fluoride treatment is highly effective in reducing cavities and tooth decay. You can receive this treatment whenever you come in for a routine dentist appointment. Fluoride works by remineralizing your enamel, which stops the earliest stages of tooth decay. It provides lasting protection, although it isn’t a replacement for proper oral hygiene.
You should also be using a toothpaste with fluoride. Most types on store shelves do have fluoride, and you can also find fluoride mouthwash. This frequent application of lower concentrations helps bolster enamel between dentist visits.
Maintain a Smile-Friendly Diet
Are you getting the proper nutrients to support your smile? Nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin D, and vitamin C are all vital to promote oral health. Make sure that you’re getting enough from your diet.
Dairy products are among the easiest ways to support your smile, as they are loaded with calcium and vitamin D. If you’re lactose-intolerant or otherwise prefer to avoid dairy products, consider dark leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli to augment your nutrient intake.
Watch Out for Harmful Snacks
Getting enough nutrients is vital, but avoiding harmful foods is just as important. Many snacks can significantly increase your risk of tooth decay. Watch out for anything sugary and sticky. Bits of food left behind provide a steady energy source for the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Candy and even dried fruits should be avoided.
There are also crumbly snacks to worry about. Crackers and chips also leave behind bits of food, causing some of the same problems as sugary or sticky snacks.
Sugary and acidic drinks are among the most serious offenders. Soda, energy drinks, sparkling water, coffee, tea, and fruit juices can greatly increase your risk of tooth decay.
Don’t Skip Routine Dental Appointments
Routine dental appointments are a vital part of preventive care. You should visit your dentist every six months for a regular exam and teeth cleaning, not just when you think something is wrong. This can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues.
The exam lets your dentist identify potential issues early, allowing for more effective intervention. Teeth cleaning removes plaque and tartar that have accumulated on your teeth, which harbor bacteria and can’t be removed by regular brushing. This helps stop tooth decay from taking hold.
Your Dental Home for Preventive Care
You can take the best care of your smile by visiting Dr. Brett Langston at Dental Implant and Aesthetic Specialists. Take advantage of our full range of preventive treatments, and let our team protect your beautiful smile. Book your next appointment today!