Flashing a bright, healthy smile is one of the most beautiful things a person can do. However, it takes effort to maintain good oral health and hygiene. Luckily, there are easy ways to care for your smile to ensure it lasts a lifetime.
Why does oral health matter? Strong teeth help people chew food and pronounce words. Further, a smile is the first thing people notice about others. Proper at-home care and regular dental services provide the best ways for a person to maintain their smile. Follow these five tips for optimal oral health.
1. Brush the Right Way
Most people try to brush their teeth at least twice a day. However, many aren’t using the right tools or techniques to keep their teeth healthy. Not all toothbrushes offer the same benefits. Some are highly abrasive and can damage tooth enamel over time.
What’s the best toothbrush? Look for one with soft bristles to remove plaque. Use gentle, circular motions to clean teeth, and remember to brush each quadrant for at least 30 seconds. Finally, replace worn toothbrushes every three months or whenever the bristles begin to fray.
2. Floss Every Day
What’s the best way to keep gums healthy? Flossing is the only way to remove food particles, bacteria, and plaque below the gum line. Everyone should strive to floss daily even if they have crowed, spaced, or missing teeth. Even people with implants or crowns should floss regularly.
In addition to removing leftover food, flossing also prevents bad breath and gum disease. Over 47 percent of adults develop periodontal disease. If left untreated, inflamed gum tissue may lead to swelling, pain, or bleeding. Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss. Thankfully, flossing is an easy way to keep gums healthy at home.
3. Stay Hydrated with H2O
Water hydrates the body, but it also keeps the mouth lubricated. Bacteria look for places to develop and replicate. A hot, dry mouth makes the perfect environment. Drinking plenty of water helps to rinse away harmful bacteria, preventing tooth decay and bad breath.
Don’t like to drink water? Try sipping unsweetened tea instead. Avoid sugary beverages as much as possible. Only drink soda or juice in moderation, and always rinse before going to bed.
4. Give Fluoride a Chance
Fluoride is a naturally occurring compound that helps keep teeth strong and healthy. Many jurisdictions add fluoride to drinking water to promote better public health. Many kinds of toothpaste and mouthwash contain small amounts of fluoride to help strengthen tooth enamel.
5. Kick the Cigarette Habit
Smoking is bad for everyone. Smokers have a higher risk of developing certain types of cancer, such as lung or throat cancer. Second-hand smoke is dangerous to inhale and can cause respiratory problems. Smoking is also detrimental to oral health.
Cigarettes contain tar and other additives. These chemicals stain teeth over time. If discolored teeth aren’t a good enough reason to quit, keep in mind that smoking also causes gum disease, decay, tooth loss, and oral cancer. Quitting is challenging, so be sure to speak with a health provider for assistance.
6. Regular Dental Screenings
Nothing beats professional teeth cleaning. Remember to schedule regular dental exams. During these appointments, dentists examine every nook and cranny of the patient’s mouth. They check for gum disease, look for cavities, and screen for oral cancer.
A Healthy Smile for Life
Gorgeous smiles aren’t only for movie stars. Anyone can have the smile of their dreams, and it starts at home. Setting aside a little bit of time each day for proper oral hygiene is the best way to keep teeth strong and healthy. For the best results, follow up with a local dentist to ensure your teeth remain in optimal health.