As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Your teeth are your most valuable assets, so preventing tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental issues is essential to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Here are several ways you can help keep your smile bright and healthy in the long run
brush teeth properly
Most people think they’re brushing their teeth properly, but the truth is that most of us are just not doing it as effectively as we should. Proper tooth-brushing technique involves making a full stroke—covering every area of your mouth—from one side to another.
Don’t forget about those hard-to-reach back teeth! And be sure to brush for at least two minutes (preferably five). Some electric toothbrushes have timers, so you can monitor your brushing time easily.
Don’t neglect your tongue
A dirty tongue is a breeding ground for bacteria and can cause dental problems, so be sure to rinse it out with water every time you brush your teeth. As your tongue naturally grows more pale over time, white spots may develop. These are harmless and actually indicate healthy tissue beneath. However, if they bother you or they’re accompanied by a tingling sensation or soreness, visit your dentist to find out if anything is amiss.
Use a fluoride toothpaste
Fluoride can help strengthen your teeth and prevent tooth decay. It’s also recommended by most professional dental organizations. According to Harvard Medical School, fluoride kills bacteria on your teeth that cause plaque buildup and cavities . If you’re looking for ways to improve your oral health, switching from a non-fluoride toothpaste to one with added fluoride is definitely a good place to start. No matter which type of toothpaste you prefer, brushing for two minutes twice a day is still the most important thing you can do for dental health!
Treat flossing as important as brushing
You can’t assume that your brush and toothpaste are enough to keep your teeth clean, strong, and cavity-free. Remember, bacteria from food accumulates at a faster rate than brushing alone can handle. That’s why flossing is essential. It gets rid of plaque from along your gum line (where brushing cannot reach) to promote a healthy smile. Brush for two minutes: Investing a couple extra minutes when you brush may seem like an easy way out but doing so will help you maintain optimum oral health and it’ll pay off later. Floss once a day: Food particles hide between our teeth all day long, which is why we should invest time in removing them once every 24 hours.
Many experts suggest regular use of a minty mouthwash as an effective way to fight cavities. But be careful: some may contain alcohol, which can irritate your gums and cause bacteria buildup. If you’re concerned about any potential side effects, contact your dentist before using mouthwash as part of your dental care routine. Once you’ve cleared it with them, try these eight great ideas for keeping your teeth healthy and bright all year long.
Drink more water
Dehydration can lead to teeth becoming more sensitive and more prone to cavities. Drinking a large glass of water first thing every morning is a simple way to keep your mouth healthy. Research has shown that drinking four cups of water daily can reduce plaque and help prevent tooth decay.
In addition, it flushes out toxins and prevents dry mouth, which is when saliva glands don’t produce enough moisture for optimal oral health. Sip a glass before breakfast and you’ll feel less dehydrated during your workday, too. If you find yourself reaching for sugary snacks or coffee throughout the day, try drinking an 8-ounce glass of water instead; that alone may be enough to alleviate cravings.
Eat crunchy fruits and vegetables
Crunchy fruits and vegetables are a good source of insoluble fiber, which helps move plaque away from your teeth. Keeping your mouth free of food residue is essential if you want healthy teeth; rinse or chew gum after each meal. You should also floss regularly to get rid of plaque that’s attached itself to your teeth. Removing plaque as it forms prevents tartar buildup, which can lead to cavities and gum disease. Make sure you follow up brushing with flossing every day for healthy teeth.
Limit sugary and acidic foods
Sugar is probably behind a lot of tooth problems that go unnoticed by many. If you’re always drinking soda, fruit juices and other sweetened drinks, then you should make sure that you regularly brush your teeth with toothpaste. While gum disease isn’t as common as some people believe, it can still lead to serious issues.
To prevent cavities and gum disease, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables each day—at least five servings—and don’t leave home without chewing sugarless gum. Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time helps remove plaque from hard-to-reach areas. It also limits bacterial growth in between brushings.
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