Proper tooth care is essential to your oral health, which in turn is essential for a great smile, pleasant breath, healthy gums and a healthy body. That said, many individuals who feel they invest the proper amount of time and effort into taking care of their teeth are yet disappointed when they visit their dentist for a checkup and learn that they have some oral health issues. Even if your dentist only indicates that you have a minimal amount of tooth decay, it is frustrating to feel that all your hard work for daily tooth care seems pointless or wasted. In fact, some individuals decide to skip the daily tooth care routine entirely and just stick to their twice-annual dental examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately this can lead to even worse issues, as your teeth and mouth do need daily care in order to remain healthy and comfortable. Fortunately with some simple improvements, your daily tooth care routine can achieve the beneficial results you desire.
Proper Tooth Care
You may have heard your dentist tell you time and again that it is important to your oral health to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. This is very true, but how you brush and floss, as well as what other daily habits you do or don’t adhere to, can make a huge difference in your oral health. Consider the following tooth care tips:
- Make sure you are using the right toothbrush. If you’ve ever stood in front of the toothbrush section at the store you know that there are many, many different options. This can lead you to believe that any choice is just fine, and has more to do with your personal preferences than anything else. Actually, there is one selection that is ideal: a soft-bristled, multi-tufted toothbrush that you can easily move all around your mouth. You will have plenty of opportunities to find the specific brand you prefer, because your toothbrush should be replaced every few months once the bristles become soft and worn. As for how to brush, this is best taught through demonstration by your dentist, Dr. Best.
- Avoid scrubbing your teeth or brushing too often. The point of proper tooth brushing techniques is to remove bacterial plaque and food particles, which doesn’t take much effort and certainly doesn’t require scrubbing. When you brush too hard or too often you can cause gum recession, which in turn opens the door to a greater risk of decay and other issues. Gently brushing your teeth for about two minutes twice a day should be sufficient.
- Floss your teeth at least once a day. While brushing your teeth properly twice a day is essential to your oral health, it alone is not enough to remove all the plaque and food particles that accumulate in your mouth. Specifically, your toothbrush cannot reach all the way between your teeth. This is where flossing comes in–it completes the important job that your toothbrush started and removes plaque and food particles from between your teeth. Flossing is also best taught through demonstration by your dentist, Dr. Best.
- Avoid sugary snacks. The oral bacteria that is responsible for tooth decay feeds off sugar, which means that sugar is often a major contributor to oral health issues. When you snack on sugar it tends to remain in your mouth and on your teeth for awhile before it is cleaned off.
- Drink lots of water every day. It is important for your oral health that you keep your mouth moist. A dry mouth is more likely to have greater plaque issues than a moist mouth, and it can be caused by smoking, alcohol, caffeine and some medical drugs. A dry mouth also suffers from reduced saliva production, which is potentially quite problematic. Saliva actually works to neutralize the acid that seeks to attack teeth, helps to fight germs, aids digestion and helps protect against tooth decay. By drinking lots of water every day, you can ensure that your mouth remains moist and you have healthy saliva production.
In addition to the above tips, remember to consult with your dentist about anything unusual that comes up, like bleeding, sensitivity, pain, discoloration, soreness, lumps or other similar things in your mouth. Don’t assume these issues can wait until your next dental examination, because while some of these issues may be minor, others can indicate serious situations that are best caught and addressed early.