Healthy teeth and gums are an asset in today’s world. A pretty smile and perfect teeth improve other people’s perception of you. More importantly, dental health reflects your overall health.
Periodontal diseases make it hard to chew certain foods which could lead to malnutrition and reduced quality of life. Crooked teeth can also lead to speech impediments and low self-esteem.
But to achieve healthy teeth you must have good dental habits and intentional dental care. Keep reading for nine of our best tips for healthy teeth and gums.
1. Brush Your Teeth at Least Twice a Day
Most people brush are accustomed to only brushing their teeth in the morning. But a lot of us neglect to brush our teeth in the evening before going to bed. This can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
We eat throughout the day and food particles, bacteria, and plaque accumulate on the teeth. The bacteria will emit acids that destroy the tooth enamel if allowed to stay overnight. Brushing your teeth before you go to bed takes out most of the plaque buildup and reduces the chances of tooth decay.
When brushing your teeth ensure that you move the brush in gentle circular motions around each tooth to take away all plaque buildup. Do not forget to brush your tongue as a lot of bacteria hide there. After brushing for two to three minutes rinse out your mouth with clean water.
Remember to change your toothbrush every 2-3 months as the bristles soften and become less effective with time. If you get an oral infection or the flu, get rid of the toothbrush to prevent reinfection.
2. Floss Regularly
Flossing is one of the best tips for healthy gums. The practice gets rid of plaque and small food particles between the teeth. It also massages and stimulates the gums. This encourages blood circulation while lowering inflammation in this area.
Most of us don’t floss as regularly as we should and those with arthritis may find it difficult to hold the flossing string. To make it easier to floss every day, get ready to use flossing tools from the supermarket or drugstore. These are quite easy and fast to use even for children and the elderly so there is no longer an excuse not to floss.
3. Stop Smoking
Smoking is detrimental to dental health because it increases the risk of oral tissue damage. Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood which makes it harder for the gun to heal following cuts or infections. Over a long period, tobacco also deeply discolors and weakens your teeth.
4. Eat a Healthy Diet
One of the major ways to achieve oral health is to eat a healthy diet consisting of whole foods and water. Crunchy fruits and vegetables are great for teeth as they exercise the jaws yet don’t contain a lot of sugar. Drink water after every meal as this not only hydrates your body but helps wash down food particles and acids stuck in the mouth.
Avoid processed foods, juices, coffee, tea, and soda. While these may be tasty and convenient, they contain a lot of sugar which is a major cause of acidity in the mouth, tooth decay, and obesity. Coffee and tea also contain acids that erode tooth enamels so limit the amount you drink each day.
5. Schedule Bi-Annual Dental Check-Ups
One of the best tips for healthy teeth and gums is to visit a dentist at least once or twice every year. These visits allow your dentist to deep clean your teeth and remove plaque from hard-to-reach areas. Many times, cavities grow without any pain or symptoms. By the time you discover the cavity, it may be too late and the tooth may need to be extracted.
The dentist can also check for any potential problems such as cavities or infections. In children, the dentist can identify crooked teeth and prescribe corrective measures early enough. In case you have a toothache or notice any dental problem with your teeth you should, of course, visit a dentist as soon as possible.
6. Wear a Protective Mouthguard when playing sport
It is quite easy to lose your teeth during contact sports activities like soccer, football, boxing, wrestling, etc. This is why it is advisable for athletes to always wear a mouthguard while playing their chosen sport. Mouthguards cushion the blows to the face and cut the chances of broken teeth or injuries to the lips, jaw, or tongue.
7. Use Antibacterial Mouthwash
Adding mouthwash to your dental cleaning routine can improve your oral health. Antibacterial mouthwashes are especially important for children and elderly people that can’t properly brush their teeth. Swishing the mouthwash throughout the mouth gets rid of bacteria, acid, and plaque in areas that the toothbrush didn’t reach.
If you have also had a dental procedure and can’t brush your teeth you must also use a prescription mouthwash to get rid of bacteria and acids in the mouth. Speak with your dentist about which mouthwash you should use as there are specific brands for children and some that address certain dental conditions.
8. Chew Sugarless Gum
Another tip for healthy teeth and gums is to chew sugarless gum. This increases the amount of saliva in your mouth which has the effect of reducing acidity. The sugarless chewing gum also reduces plaque buildup and helps dislodge food particles stuck between teeth. Finally, chewing increases blood circulation to your gum and exercises your jaws thus increasing gum health.
9. Use a Fluoride Toothpaste
Another great tip for healthy teeth is to brush them using fluoride toothpaste. There has been a lot of debate about the negative effects of fluoride on the body.
But ultimately, dentists agree that fluoride toothpaste helps fight tooth decay. This happens by fighting germs and forming a protective barrier on our teeth. So when choosing a toothpaste (along with other qualities like whitening power and fresh breath) ensure that it contains fluoride.
Try the Top Tips for Healthy Teeth and Gums
It is important to have healthy teeth and gums as they are a reflection of our health. We need our teeth and a healthy mouth to eat and speak. So periodontal disease can negatively affect our quality of life.
Some of the best tips for healthy teeth and gums including brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day. You should also eat a healthy diet low in sugar and visit the dentist at least twice a year. For more information and tips on dental care, read the rest of our wellness blog section.