A radiant smile can make anyone look young and healthy. That is one of the reasons you should take care of your teeth and gums from a very early age. Severe oral health problems can lead to low self-esteem, pain, malnutrition, and speech problems. Experts at the American Dentist Association (ADA) consider dental and oral health problems to be a global health concern.
Needless to say, everyone is going to experience some problems with their teeth from time to time. If you adopt some of the measures described below, you are less likely to have serious problems with your teeth and gums:
Go to the dentist
According to experts, you need to go to the dentist every six months (even if you are not in pain). However, you should also ask your dentist about the frequency of checkups since the answer depends on your personal dental health.
Only a qualified dentist can check for gum disease, mouth cancer, cavities, and catch signs of other oral health problems early. To help prevent dental problems and complications, young children should also see a dentist at least twice per year.
Expect your hygienist to remove plaque and clean your teeth with a high-powered electric toothbrush. You should consult with your dentist if you want to whiten your teeth or undergo a full mouth reconstruction.
If you have been putting off visiting your dentist for a long time, make an appointment as soon as possible.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, smoking is considered one of the major risk factors for gum disease. It weakens the human immune system and makes it more difficult to heal after a standard dental procedure.
Regular smoking is also very bad for oral health. Smokers are much more likely to have bad breath and yellow teeth than their non-smoking counterparts.
Smokers usually develop more tartar on their teeth than people who don’t smoke. Tartar buildup can lead to periodontal disease (gum disease). Tartar is a hard calcified deposit that accumulates on teeth and accelerates decay.
Brush your teeth regularly
Dentists recommend brushing your teeth at least twice per day in order to remove bacteria and plaque after eating.
Follow these basic guidelines to keep your teeth clean and prevent gum disease:
- Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristle toothbrush to brush your teeth every day.
- Brush your teeth at a 45° angle.
- Make sure to clean the insides of the front teeth.
- Replace your toothbrush every two months. You can do this even earlier if your toothbrush bristle start to fray.
- Brush your tongue with the toothbrush gently.
- Spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth each time.
- Consider taking a small sip of mouthwash after brushing.
If you don’t brush your teeth regularly, you might have to deal with long term consequences such as tooth decay, tooth loss, gum disease, and bad breath.
A lot of people don’t floss every day, as recommended by the CDC. However, flossing can help remove bacteria, plaque, and prevent bad breath. Gently push the floss with up-to-down motions. Make sure to avoid snapping it down and up between your teeth since it can lead to bleeding. According to the dentists, there is no specific time for flossing. You can do it before going to bed or during the day.
Reconsider your diet
Several studies over the years have shown that regular consumption of sugary foods can lead to tooth decay. Cut down on your sugar intake. Brushing after eating sweets, puddings, or sugary drinks, for example, helps protect your teeth. Processed foods also contain sugar.
The American Dental Association recommends eating fibre-rich vegetables and fruits rather than starchy foods.
Also, make sure to replace sugary drinks (juice, soda, etc.) with unsweetened tea or plain water.
Virtually everything we eat has some kind of impact on our oral health, i.e., the state of our teeth and gums. Some foods are very bad for them, while others help keep them clean. Dentists say that we should eat:
- Dairy products, such as yoghurt, milk, and cheese.
- Seafood products.
- Sugar-free gum (especially after a large meal).
- High-fibre fruits and vegetables.
We should avoid:
- Starchy foods.
- Sticky candies.
- Carbonated soft drinks.
The bottom line
To keep your gums and teeth healthy, make sure to go to the dentist every six months, even if there are no signs and symptoms of any problems. Besides regular checkups, you also need to brush and floss your teeth regularly.
Consider using fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristle toothbrush. Feel free to ask your dentist to show you how to brush your teeth properly. According to one study, only 39% of adults in the United States do it right.
Also, you need to reconsider your daily diet and cut down on sugar. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that processes foods, sweets, and sweetened beverages can lead to cavities and other oral health issues.
If you experience any signs and symptoms of gum disease, such as. swollen gums or pain while chewing, make an appointment to see your dentist immediately. If you look after your teeth and gums, you are more likely to enjoy good oral health and have a nice smile.