It is probably no surprise that a bright, white smile can make you appear younger and more attractive. Good dental health goes beyond the way you look. The mouth is the gateway to the body, which means the state of your teeth and gums affects your overall health. By following these steps to a better smile, you will be taking important strides for the rest of your body, too. It is also recommended that you schedule regular dental examinations so we can inspect your teeth, gums, and mouth for you.
Regular Brushing is Important
Brushing is the cornerstone of dental hygiene. It removes food particles that bacteria feed on, cleans teeth, and freshens breath. A toothpaste with fluoride helps strengthen teeth, but you must brush for at least two minutes to allow it to do its work. Many electric toothbrushes have a built-in two-minute timer, which can make brushing for the full amount of time easier. This also uses pulsating actions that will help remove the food between your teeth.
Make sure to Floss Daily
Flossing removes the bacteria from in between your teeth that your toothbrush does not reach, which helps prevent gum disease. It is recommend flossing twice a day. If you only do it once daily, be sure to floss before bedtime. When you sleep, you produce less saliva, which leaves teeth and gums particularly vulnerable to bacteria. If you are not sure of the proper technique to floss, you can visit us and we can advise you how to floss properly.
Regular Dental Appointments are Recommended
Visit the dentist at least twice a year for thorough dental cleanings. We can spot the early signs of gum disease, which is more easily treated when caught in the beginning stages. If you are prone to gum disease and cavities, consider visiting your dentist every four months. Similarly, if you have other health conditions that put you at higher risk for dental problems, like diabetes, or a depressed immune system from cancer or chemotherapy, ask us how often you should have an exam. A special dental-hygiene regimen should be considered for pregnant women, people with diabetes, and anyone undergoing chemotherapy treatment or using medications that can affect the gums or dry out the mouth. It is also wise to examine your own mouth regularly for signs of trouble. This could include non-healing sores on the lip or inside of your cheek, swollen gums, or sensitive or bleeding gums. If you notice any of these conditions, make an extra dental appointment to have them checked out. Make sure to eat healthy and include plenty of dairy and other calcium-rich foods, like sardines and kale, in your diet. Calcium helps maintain strong bones and teeth, and the vitamin C in citrus fruits boosts gum health. Equally important to what you do eat is what you do not eat. Sugary and sticky foods that stick to the crevices of your teeth are particularly bad, as bacteria feed off the sugars and release acids that cause cavities. If you do eat candy or other sweets, try to brush immediately afterward or, if that is not possible, rinse your mouth with water.