Who doesn’t love the toothless smile of a baby? There is something about those first smiles that melts our heart and goes straight to our soul. However, no one wants to grow old with a gummy smile. Luckily, you can enjoy a lifetime of terrific teeth when you follow these five dental care tips.
Do you dread going to the dentist because you tremble with anxiety that the dentist will tell you that you need lots of dental work? Maybe you’re a little bit dental phobic? Don’t worry, these dental tips are easy to follow and will reduce your stress when you’re sitting in the dental chair.
The number one dental tip is to brush your teeth. The American Dental Association recommends that you brush your teeth at least twice a day. It suggests using a soft bristled brush on your teeth for at least two minutes at a time. The ADA also stresses that you should use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
Many people mistakenly brush too hard and in the wrong direction. Improper brushing doesn't work and can lead to gum damage. Instead of vigorous brushing, gently move the brush side to side at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
Brushing alone does not keep your teeth clean. Food gets stuck between teeth and leads to decay and gum disease if not removed. The easiest way to clean the tight spaces between your teeth is to floss every day. Flossing is an essential weapon in the ongoing fight against plaque. Plaque is that sticky stuff on your teeth that trap food and results in painful mouth problems like cavities and gum disease. People can floss with traditional floss or use a water flosser like Waterpik.
Does it matter when you floss? It does not matter if you floss before or after you brush your teeth. Pick the most convenient time to floss and keep it part of your routine. Flossing is one of the surest ways to ensure a pleasant dental visit.
While not a substitute for brushing and flossing, swishing some dental rinse around your mouth each day is an easy dental tip that reaps lots of benefits. Studies show that dental rinses prevent cavities and minimize the chance of gum disease when used as part of an overall dental hygiene plan.
All dental rinses are not the same. Some mouthwashes include fluoride to target cavities. Other gargles are designed to attack plaque. Still others fight plaque, dental caries, and bad breath. It’s a good idea to purchase products with an ADA Seal of Acceptance. The seal indicates that the American Dental Association believes the product is safe and effective. Your dentist can recommend the best dental rinse for you.
It is impossible to overestimate the importance of a proper diet in taking care of your teeth. Too much sugar in your diet contributes to tooth decay and gum disease.
Let’s be honest, most of us know that we consume too many sugary foods and drinks. It’s easy to cut down on eating candy, desserts, and sugar-rich sodas and fruit drinks. However, food doesn’t need to taste sweet to be loaded with sugar. Indeed, many processed foods contain vast amounts of hidden sugar.
What is the best way to fuel your body and protect your teeth? Dentists encourage you to try some of these strategies:
Drink water instead of soda and fruit juice
Limit sugar consumption
Select foods from all the food groups
Choose healthy snacks such as fruit and cheese
In addition to choosing healthy snacks, it’s beneficial to reduce your overall snacking. Research shows that the food you eat during a full-meal causes less damage to your teeth than when you snack. Your mouth makes more saliva during a meal, and the saliva washes your teeth free of much of the food particles. Snacking initiates less saliva production, so your teeth are less protected.
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The last critical dental tip is to visit your dentist twice a year for a check-up and cleaning. Too many people avoid going to their dentist until they’re in pain. Delaying treatment is such a shame because much of the pain is avoidable if you make going to the dentist a regular part of your healthcare routine. Your dentist can discover potential problems before they flare into a painful crisis.
Along with keeping your teeth healthy, your dentist plays a significant role in making your smile shine. A thorough cleaning will take lots of that yucky sticky plaque off your teeth.
Finally, everyone wants a beautiful smile. Your smile says hello to the world. Fortunately, a beautiful smile is not challenging to maintain if you follow a proper dental care regimen. A consistent routine of brushing, flossing, rinsing, healthy eating, and visiting the dentist will help ensure that your smile lasts a lifetime.