Healthy teeth come with routine preventative care and good oral hygiene practices at home. A pearly white smile can transform your aesthetic appearance and boost your self-esteem. With a positive mindset and better oral health, you will also improve whole-body health and overall well-being.
Caring for Your Mouth
- Protect your oral health by brushing your teeth at least once throughout the day and every night before you go to bed, with a good ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste. Clean between teeth and just below the gum line one or more times per day with dental floss or interdental brushes.
- Quit smoking or using tobacco products. These tooth staining substances can do more than discoloring enamel or cause tooth loss they are very harmful to your oral health. Smoking can lead to gum disease and mouth cancer.
- Replace your toothbrush about every two or three months. Change it sooner if you notice signs of wear, like frayed bristles. Once the brush becomes worn, it will no longer clean your teeth effectively.
Keep up with regularly scheduled dentist visits, either twice yearly or as often as recommended. If you suffer from dental anxiety, be sure to let the clinic know ahead of time so they can treat you accordingly. Also, consider bringing a friend or family member with you to the appointment for support.
During an oral exam, your dentist will screen for mouth cancer and any other possible abnormalities. Both your hygienist and dentist can offer great tips on how to prevent oral health issues.
Diet and dental Health
- To help protect your teeth and gums at times when you can’t brush after eating, chew sugarless gum. This is a good practice especially after indulging in sugary treats. Also, chewing on a cube of cheese after finishing a meal is a great way to reduce the corrosive effect that food acids have on teeth.
- Eat a balanced diet full of a wide variety of nutritious foods including fresh vegetables and fruits to help ward off gum disease.
- If you love sweets, choose sugar-free snacks that contain xylitol. This popular sugar substitute is good for your dental health. The sweetener hinders bacteria from sticking to enamel and strengthens teeth.
Children’s Oral Health
- Wipe your infant’s gums gently with damp gauze. When your young child starts cutting teeth, use a small soft-bristled toothbrush to clean the new teeth. At age 2, you can begin to use a smear of fluoride toothpaste.
- Once the first tooth erupts, schedule you baby’s initial dentist visit. This will help the infant get used to the process, environment of the dental practice, and the overall experience.
- Children’s oral health care should be supervised until about the age of 7 to be sure they are practicing proper oral hygiene habits.
- Set a timer to ensure your child brushes for the correct length of time. Track brushing habits and reward consistent efforts.
- Disclosing tablets are a useful tool for uncovering hidden dental plaque. These chewable tabs show the teeth surfaces that need more attention while your child is brushing.