What can I do to keep my teeth and gums healthy? It is something most of our parents have encouraged us to do from a very early age.
Taking good care of your teeth and gums, i.e., oral hygiene, does considerably more than help you maintain that nice smile. It also helps maintain your body in good health.
Did you know that people with gum disease have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. They are also more likely to have memory problems when they are old. The old expression “Healthy mouth, healthy you” is not a myth; it really is true!
Maintaining good oral hygiene is a question of developing daily habits, which should last the rest of your life. They are easy to adopt and within most people’s budgets.
Its never too late to start taking care of your teeth and gums, and also never too early to start teaching your children, and explaining why.
Here are some of the recommended practices by Tulsa Dentists to keep your teeth and gums healthy at all times.
Brush in the morning and in the Evening Before You Sleep
Many people think that brushing their teeth is simply a question of moving back and forth aggressively. This is not the case. You must make sure you brush every part of your teeth. The whole process should take about two minutes. It is important to brush the inside, outside, and chewing surfaces.
Your brush should be at a forty-five degree angle to your gums. Gently brush all surfaces up and down. Then do the same back and forth, i.e., sideways.
Make sure that your toothbrush is a good fit for your mouth. You should brush your teeth regularly – at least twice a day – and replace your toothbrush every three months.
Toothbrushing stops the build-up of plaque, a film of bacteria that coats your teeth. If you don’t brush regularly or properly, plaque will accumulate and increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
According to most health authorities worldwide, we should brush our teeth before bedtime and on another occasion while we are awake. Others recommend once when we get up, once during the day, and then again before we go to bed.
People’s needs vary. Ask your dental hygienist or dentist what they recommend for you.
Brush With Fluoride Toothpaste
A mistake most people make when buying toothpaste is to focus on the whitening power and flavors instead of other important elements such as fluoride. Fluoride is a natural element derived from fluorine, which helps prevent tooth decay.
Although many dental products such as mouthwash and toothpaste are made with this ingredient, you should always check that the toothpaste you are buying contains fluoride.
In most advanced economies and many emerging ones, water companies must add fluoride to the water supply. Studies have shown that people living in one region of a country with fluoride in their tapwater have a lower incidence of tooth decay than their counterparts in other regions with no fluoride. Fluoride is recommended by health organizations such as the WHO, ADA, and the CDC.
If you aren’t sure whether fluoride is added to your water supply, go to your supplier’s website to find out. Alternatively, you could telephone them.
Cut Back on Smoking or Give Up
Smoking tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, and pipes is bad for your teeth and gums. Regular smokers have a much higher risk of gum disease and tooth decause.
Even if you cannot give up completely, smoking less will help. If you do manage to quit, it will take a while before your risk is the same as that of a non-smoker.
Apart from causing dental and gum problems, regular smoking is also bad for your smile. Most heavy smokers have yellow stains on their teeth. Bad breath is another problem.
Limit or Ditch Sugar and Starches
Bacteria in the mouth use sugar from foods and drinks to survive and thrive. They produce acids that damage your teeth, i.e., cause tooth decay. Sugary drinks can significantly undermine the health of your teeth and gums.
Reduce your intake of sugary drinks and foods. If you are thirsty, there is nothing healthier for the human body than water.
Our craving for sugary drinks starts from childhood. It is not a natural craving. Most babies are happy with just milk or water. If you want to protect your children’s teeth for life, apart from encouraging regular and proper toothbrushing, refrain from giving them sugary drinks and foods.
In today’s society, it is difficult to ban sugary drinks and foods completely. Children go to birthday parties, visit friends’ homes, etc. However, it is possible to keep their intake to a minimum, perhaps just for special occasions.
As You Brush, Also Don’t Forget to Floss
…At least once a day.
When we eat, some food sticks between our teeth. This area is hard to reach with a toothbrush. Flossing is the best way clean those areas properly.
Food build-up between teeth and difficult-to-get areas provide nourishment for those bacteria that produce an acid that damages enamel. Part of good oral hygiene involves starving those nasty germs.
Brush Your Tongue As Well
If you often have bad breath (halitosis), try brushing your tongue. Regular tongue brushing can get rid of germs that cause halitosis.
These bacteria can cause gum diseases. They can also spread to other parts of the body, where they make people ill.
Apart from protecting your oral and overall health, tongue brushing can also enhance your sense of taste. Those nasty germs dull your taste buds. Getting rid of them brings your taste buds back to life.
Brushing your tongue also helps prevent toxins from getting into your digestive system and undermining your immune system.
Visit Your Dentist Frequently
You may be brushing your teeth properly at least twice a day, but there are oral health issues you can’t cure if you are not an expert. A qualified dentist is trained to treat every type of tooth decay and gum disease. They can also replace teeth, make them straight, and detect other illnesses such as oral cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, leukemia, pancreatic cancer, and diabetes.
Ideally, you should see your dentist every six months, even if you feel no pain and are sure that all is fine inside your mouth. Regular visits will keep your teeth and gums that way.
Your dentist will examine your teeth to make sure they are free from cavities and that there are no gum problems.
Stay Hydrated Always But Avoid Sugary Drinks
Water has plenty of benefits when it comes to your overall health. It boosts metabolism, keeps your skin soft, and facilitates good bloodflow. Everything in your body words better if you are well hydrated. If also helps maintain good oral hygiene.
Let’s Keep Your Teeth and Gums Clean and Healthy!
Hopefully, after reading this article, you have a better idea of how to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Article you may find interesting: “What is Fluoridation?“