7 Tips For Optimum Dental and Oral Health
You have probably heard a million times that a dental hygiene routine should include brushing twice a day. But maintaining a sparkling smile for a lifetime requires a lot more than that.
Neglecting oral health can quickly lead to dental plaque, a thin invisible film of bacteria accumulating on your teeth after consuming sugar. It can damage your enamel, cause cavitations, and get beneath the gums to cause periodontitis.
Dental cavities have been linked with various health conditions, too. It is associated with stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and many heart diseases.
Here are 7 tips for dental and oral health that can help ensure your teeth remain as healthy as possible.
Maintain proper brushing habits
We generally recommend brushing once in the morning and before bed, but brushing 30 minutes after every meal is an even better option. Brushing at night removes the dental plaques that accumulate inside the teeth throughout the day, removes bacteria, and protects your teeth while you sleep. We do not produce enough saliva during sleep. Without the protective effects of enzymes in the saliva, your teeth become an ideal place for germs to breed.
Using proper brushing techniques is just as important as the brushing itself. It is recommended to brush in a gentle circular motion for at least two minutes. Your molars are more susceptible to cavities, so remember to go all the way back and clean the rear of your teeth as well.
Replace toothbrushes regularly
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends using a soft-bristled brush to remove plaque and food particles. These are safer, less abrasive, and more effective than hard-bristled ones that can damage your delicate gums. We recommend replacing your toothbrush every two to three months. If you have a hard-bristled brush, replacing it now is a good choice. Check out DP Dental’s soft bamboo toothbrushes, which are made of 100% organic fibres. These bamboo brushes are not only good for the environment but contain additional antibacterial and antimicrobial properties to protect your pearly whites.
Don’t forget to floss!
Many decay-causing bacteria live between the teeth that your toothbrush bristles can’t reach, even with proper brushing. When you’re only brushing, you’re missing two of the five surfaces of your teeth uncleaned. What’s between your teeth makes up 40% of the total tooth surface. That said, string flossing or cleaning between your teeth does 40% of the work in removing sticky films from your teeth.
By placing the floss gently between your teeth and moving them up and down along the tooth surface, you can remove plaque and food particles between your teeth that could potentially develop into cavities and gum diseases. As long as you’re doing it correctly, you’re good with flossing only once every day.
Drink plenty of water
Water is the best beverage for your overall health. The same goes for oral health, too. Drinking plenty of water keeps your gums hydrated and washes away leftover food residue that cavity-causing bacteria thrive on. It’s recommended to wash your mouth with sips of water after every meal to remove any food particles. Water also contains dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium that strengthen your enamel and reduce the risk of cavitation.
Avoid harmful habits
Besides affecting your lungs and heart, smoking also contributes to a range of dental health issues. The tar and nicotine in tobacco smoke can penetrate the porous enamel of the teeth, leading to discolouration that is often resistant to regular brushing. This kind of stain may require professional dental treatments, such as teeth whitening and scaling, to restore the natural colour of the teeth.
Drinking alcohol is associated with a multitude of dental problems, too. Although its effects depend upon how much and how often you drink, gum disease, tooth decay, and mouth sores are all much more likely for drinkers. Alcohol is the second most common risk factor for oral cancer, as well.
Make better food choices
We are what we eat. This saying is especially true for your oral health. Your dietary choices have a lasting impact on your teeth and gums, so make sure to eat fibre-rich vegetables, cheese, and plenty of fruits. These foods neutralise acids, kill bacteria and increase saliva flow in your mouth. For healthy teeth, you will also want to cut down on food items with high sugar content. Since cavity-causing bacteria depend on sugar to produce acids and damage your teeth, consuming sugary candies and drinks in moderation is recommended regardless of age.
Visit your dentist twice a year
Seeing your dentist regularly can do more than keep your teeth shining and gums healthy. While maintaining a healthy in-home dental care routine is crucial for your overall health, seeing a dentist every six months can detect the onset of diseases that don’t cause symptoms at first. Frequent dental visits can also save you from invasive and costly treatments down the line. That is because treating cavities when they are small and early in their course is a simple and relatively painless procedure compared to root canals and dental extraction. Oral cancer detection is also one of the main aspects of dental appointments. While visiting the dental office bi-annually is the way to go, your dentist might recommend more frequent checkups if oral health concerns begin to develop. Click here to book a consultation with DP Dental today.
Maintaining proper oral health takes a lifetime of care. Regular brushing, eating good food, and bi-annual dental visits are keys to keeping your teeth healthy. By practising these tips, you can save yourself from costly dental treatments and keep your sparkling smile for a lifetime.