Posted by Dr. Julie Boudreault On 12-05-2020
Your smile is one of the most important features of your face. A simple smile can convey so much and help create a lasting first impression. For many, a shining, bright smile is a huge source of confidence; however, a beautiful smile does require its share of work; your teeth require care and attention daily to help keep them both healthy and strong.
Adopting good oral hygiene practises from a young age is the key to maintaining a healthy smile for life. Contrary to popular belief, a healthy smile doesn’t cost too much, and expensive treatments and procedures are not usually required to maintain your pearly whites. Although some individuals may require orthodontic or restorative treatments to correct problems with their teeth or jaw, most ways to keep your teeth healthy can be done right at home.
Consistency is one of the most important aspects of dental care. A good quality cleaning regimen can only be effective if performed consistently and with the right tools. If you think it’s time to start looking after your teeth better or are looking for ways to improve your daily routine, we’re here to share 10 ways to keep your teeth happy and healthy from the comfort of your home.
1. Brush your teeth twice a day
We’ve all heard the reminders to brush our teeth at least twice a day. Brushing your teeth is one of the best ways to not only clean the surfaces of your teeth but to help keep your gums and tongue clean as well. The sugars found in foods and drinks can linger in your mouth and become a source of food for the bacteria in your mouth.
The health of your teeth can become compromised by the build-up of harmful plaque-causing bacteria and lead to a whole host of problems, including tooth decay. Make sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day to help get rid of the plaque that accumulates throughout the day.
Although brushing is certainly the best way to keep your teeth clean, but brushing more than twice a day isn’t required and can cause gum recession and damage to the exposed roots of your teeth.
2. Use good brushing techniques
You may be brushing your teeth twice a day and always before bed, but if you aren’t using the correct techniques, it defeats the purpose of your routine. Don’t be in a rush when brushing your teeth, and try to move your toothbrush in slow, circular motions to remove the plaque from your teeth.
Use a toothbrush with a small head so you can access all the areas of your mouth, and use softer bristles that are gentle on your gums. If plaque isn’t removed effectively, it can harden and cause early signs of gum disease and tooth decay.
Plaque can also build up on your tongue, which can result in a bad odour, so don’t neglect your tongue during brushing. Use the proper brushing technique to give your teeth a good cleaning, especially before bed and after meals, making sure to brush for at least 2-3 minutes.
3. Use toothpaste with fluoride
There are several great options for toothpaste, and many of them advertise their excellent whitening abilities or cavity control. However, when it comes to toothpaste, make sure you select one that contains fluoride. Fluoride is a key contributor to your oral health because it hardens your enamel and reduces your risk of tooth decay.
4. Don’t forget to floss
Many individuals believe that flossing is an additional form of oral care; however, just like brushing your teeth, flossing should be a regular part of your daily oral cleaning routine. Flossing is an excellent way to help stimulate your gums, reduce the build-up of plaque, clean the areas between your teeth, and decrease any inflammation in the areas being flossed.
Flossing is not always easy for younger children or older adults with pain in their joints. In these situations, try to assist young children or buy ready-to-use dental floss for greater ease. Flossing should be a part of your daily oral care routine, and you can gain the benefits of flossing by doing so, even once a day.
5. Avoid sugary or acidic food and drinks
There’s certainly a reason why we’re told that excessive sugars can be damaging for the teeth. Although it’s ok to enjoy the occasional sweet treat, your overall diet should avoid excessive sugars or acidic foods. When you consume sugary foods, the sugars are converted into acids in the mouth, which erode the enamel of your teeth over time, eventually leading to cavity formation.
If you do consume any acidic drinks such as soda or juices, avoid brushing your teeth immediately after consuming them. The acids in these drinks dissolve calcium out of the tooth’s surface enamel. If you brush your teeth too soon after consuming these acidic beverages, you could easily remove the softened enamel.
6. Drinks lots of water
Water has many excellent health benefits and remains one of the best types of beverages for your oral, as well as overall health. It is recommended that you consume water after every meal to help wash away any food particles in your mouth. The negative effects of sugary, sticky, and acidic foods, as well as the beverages you consume, can be decreased by consuming water post meals.
7. Be gentle with your teeth
Your teeth are precious, and although great options for tooth replacement exist, nothing can compete with your natural teeth. This is why you should take all precautions to protect your teeth from injury.
Your teeth — although very strong — should not be used for anything other than chewing your food. Your teeth are at greater risk of chipping or even breaking if they are used to crack nutshells or remove tops from bottles, for example. In the unfortunate event that your tooth is knocked out, try to hold your tooth in place if possible or wrap the tooth up and place it in milk until you can reach a dental professional for help.
8. Use mouthwash
Mouthwash can be a good addition to your daily oral health routine. Mouthwash works by reducing the amount of acid in the mouth, reaching areas in your mouth where your brush may not be able to, and helping to remineralize your teeth.
9. Visit your dentist at least twice a year
No matter how persistently you brush and floss your teeth daily, having a professional examination and cleaning of your teeth at least every six months is necessary. The dentist will be able to remove any calculus from your teeth, use x-rays to diagnose cavities, and spot any other potential problems before they worsen.
Visiting the dentist regularly is a great way to stay on top of your oral health and get the treatments you may need before it is too late. If you experience any bleeding gums or notice any other unusual signs or symptoms in and around your mouth, inform the dentist and make an extra visit if needed.
10. Drop your bad habit
Your oral health can be dramatically affected by how well you clean your teeth on a daily basis. However, some bad habits you may forget to consider can also impact your oral health. Some of these habits include the use of tobacco products, consumption of excessive alcohol, clenching or grinding your teeth, jaw joints, and muscles.
If you have a bad habit you are trying to shake, don’t be afraid to reach out to a dental or medical professional to help you kick those unwanted habits. Not only will this help your oral health, but your overall health will benefit greatly.
If you take good care of your teeth, your efforts will surely show, and you’ll be more than happy to share your healthy and radiant smile with the world. If your oral health hasn’t always been a priority for you, then it’s never too late to start.
If our list of ways to take care of your oral health at home is too overwhelming, try adopting one oral care practice at a time and slowly improve upon your daily oral hygiene routine. At Milltown Dental, our team of highly trained dental professionals know the importance of oral care at home when it comes to maintaining a healthy smile for life.
If you would like to learn more ways to improve your oral health, call Milltown Dental today at 905-878-8528 or contact us here.