There is more to keeping your teeth healthy than simple brushing and flossing. You have probably been told to brush twice and to floss at least once a day since you were old enough to hold a toothbrush. But what about tongue care, diet, and fluoride use? Do you know what toothbrush and a mouth rinse is right for you? Brush up on your oral care with these essential habits for excellent dental health.
For healthy teeth, take care of your toothbrush. Rinse it well after tooth brushing. Then, in an upright position, make sure to store it out in the open. Plenty of airflow around the bristles will help keep your brush dry; microorganisms that can grow on your toothbrush tend to thrive in a moist environment. When it is no longer useful, get a new one. The American Dental Association recommends replacing toothbrushes every three to four months. However, with children, you may need to change sooner. Keep an eye out for frayed, worn bristles.
Brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can damage tooth enamel and the gums. The effects of this may include tooth sensitivity, permanent damage to the protective coating on the teeth, and gum erosion. Brush your tongue to help fight the bacteria in your mouth. Tongue brushing is not only essential for keeping your teeth healthy, but it also helps to stop bad breath. Try using a toothbrush with a cheek and tongue cleaner, so you can easily remove bacteria from your mouth every time you brush.
Your dentist and dental hygienist are there to help you with oral care. Visit your dentist for regular check-ups and voice any questions or concerns that you may have about keeping your teeth healthy. They can help you create a daily brushing and flossing plan that is suited to the specific needs of your teeth.
What you drink can affect the health of your teeth. Beverages such as soft drinks and sugary juices have been targeted as culprits of tooth decay. Drinking less soda and more water, milk, and fresh juices can help protect your teeth.
Fluoride is not just for kids. This natural mineral hardens tooth enamel, helping to prevent cavities. You can get fluoride from your toothpaste, some mouth rinses, and in-office or at-home treatments your dental professional may provide. Talk to your dentist about what type of fluoride treatments are right for you. Evidence suggests that a lack of fluoride can lead to tooth decay, even if a person takes care of their teeth otherwise. A recent review found that brushing and flossing do not prevent a person from getting cavities if they do not use fluoride.
Flossing can remove plaque and bacteria from between the teeth, where a toothbrush is unable to reach. It can also help prevent bad breath by removing debris and food that has become trapped between the teeth. Most dental health professionals recommend gently pushing the floss all the way down to the gum line before hugging the side of the tooth with up-and-down motions. It is important to avoid snapping the floss up and down between the teeth, which can cause pain and will not remove plaque as effectively.
Smoking harms the body’s immune system, which makes it difficult for the body to heal tissues, including those in the mouth. Smoking also affects the appearance of the mouth, leading to yellowing of the teeth and tongue, and it can give breath a bad odor.
They say that a smile is the most beautiful thing a person possesses. So, are you taking care of that precious smile? Good oral hygiene not only adds beauty to your smile but also keeps the gum and mouth infections away.