9 Steps to Achieving Healthy Teeth and Gums All Year Long
Having straight teeth and an attractive smile does not define your overall oral health. All dental experts agree that the appearance of “perfect” teeth does not mean you are immune to several dental problems, including but not limited to:
- Bad Breath or Halitosis
- Gum (Periodontal) Disease
- Mouth Sores
- Tooth Erosion
- Toothaches and Dental Emergencies
- Oral Cancer
Following an oral care guide is essential to having a healthy mouth—not just a good-looking one. In this article, we at Cunning Dental Group want to provide you a comprehensive checklist that will help you achieve a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
1. Have a Consistent Brushing Routine
Brushing is the most effective way to maintain optimal oral health. If you don’t have an existing routine, consider this one:
- Use fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride decreases your risk of tooth decay by producing a layer of protection over your teeth. This protective barrier helps your chompers become more resistant to plaque buildup and the destructive effects of certain foods.
- Dispense only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste onto your toothbrush. Using more is excessive and wasteful.
- Use circular motions to brush your teeth. Take your time and continue this motion when cleaning each tooth, including all nooks and crannies in between your teeth, all grooves, and crevices, as well as the backside of the upper and lower teeth. In addition, remember to keep the tips of the bristles against the gum line and avoid pressing too hard.
- Clean your tongue. An unpleasant coating of bacteria, food particles, and dead skin cells called a biofilm can envelop your taste buds and leave your sense of taste bland. Bacteria on your tongue can likewise cause a serious case of halitosis. When you brush your teeth, remember to include the back of your tongue.
- Rinse your mouth after brushing for two to three minutes.
- Buy a new toothbrush every three to four months. Over time, the hairs on your toothbrush can soften or break down, rendering them less efficient in removing plaque. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends replacing your toothbrush every three months or so. Further, if you experience the flu or any mouth infection, it is best to change your toothbrush immediately to prevent the return of infection.
A reliable dentist always recommends brushing after a meal. Brushing 30 minutes after eating is ideal to allow any softened enamel (outer surface layer of your teeth) to re-harden and protect against tooth decay. Proper brushing removes stubborn bacteria that cling to teeth.
2. Make Time for Flossing
According to Dr. Bill Kohn, vice president of Dental Science and Policy for Delta Dental Plans Association, only 4 of 10 Americans floss once daily, and at least 20 percent never floss.
Daily flossing prevents tartar buildup, tooth decay, and bad breath. To floss, guide the thin filament between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. Avoid snapping the floss into the gums. Once the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. Then, slide the dental floss into the space between the gum and the tooth. Flossing is a powerful tactic for cleaning out the gaps between your teeth, in which bacteria often reside.
Flossing takes only a few minutes of your time, but the benefits are long-lasting.
3. Use a Mouth Guard
Whether you are a professional athlete, play sports as a hobby, or engage in intense physical activities, use a mouth guard to shield your teeth from accidental harm. Facial injuries, including fractured and falling teeth, are among the most common injuries in sports. Using proper protection like a mouth guard can help lessen the severity of such injuries.
4. Have Some Cheese
To feel confident about your smile during a photo opt, don’t just say cheese—make sure to eat it too. Delectable cheeses, including cheddar, Swiss, Monterey Jack, and other aged dairy confections help stimulate the flow of saliva. This watery liquid secreted into the mouth helps wash away food particles from teeth.
5. Enjoy an Apple
Eating an apple a day not only keeps the doctor away but the dentist as well. The rigid texture of a crisp Honey Delicious or Granny Smith functions like a toothbrush. When you are chewing, it helps eliminate stubborn stains over time. Some consumables that can stain your teeth are coffee, tea, sodas, and dark juices.
6. Add Calcium-Rich Foods to Your Diet
Calcium is a vital nutrient that helps build and maintain strong bones, including healthy teeth. Cow’s milk is an excellent source of calcium. If you are lactose intolerant or eat a plant-based diet, other sources of calcium include broccoli, tofu, and dried fruit (raisins, prunes, apricots, and figs).
7. Drink More Water
Water not only hydrates your body—it also plays a role in strengthening and cleaning teeth. With every sip, water washes away leftover sugars and foods that can eventually lead to cavities. H2O also helps restore the mouth’s pH balance to combat unhealthy levels of acid.
8. Stop Smoking
Tobacco use, whether smoking or chewing, contributes to oral tissue damage. Smoking induces a lack of oxygen in your bloodstream, which prevents infected gums from healing and allows gum disease to progress faster. Further, the powder found in tobacco weakens and discolors your teeth over time. Such stains are difficult to remove because they have settled deep into the enamel. In more severe cases, smoking can cause oral cancer.
9. See Your Dentist Every Six Months or As Needed
Routine dental checkups help you understand any specific issues present in your oral health. At Cunning Dental Group, we will evaluate the state of your oral health and provide personalized recommendations that will improve your teeth and gums' condition. Contact our dental office in California by dialing (855) 328-6646.
How to Keep Healthy Teeth and Gums: Conclusion
Dental problems are painful and expensive, but the good news is that most of them are preventable. Brushing after every meal, flossing daily, maintaining a healthy diet, and getting routine dental check-ups are essential steps in preventing progressive dental problems. Educating yourself about common dental issues and their causes can also go a long way in prevention.
If you feel something is amiss with your oral health, do not hesitate to seek our professional advice regarding medical conditions or treatments. Cunning Dental Group is one of the leading providers of top cosmetic dentistry in California, USA. Schedule your appointment today to receive your *FREE consultation.