Your oral health is inextricably linked with your overall health. Maintaining your teeth and gums will spare you from pain, save you money, and may even reduce your risk of developing some systemic health issues, such as cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s. You have every reason to work to adopt habits that will protect your oral health from decay and gum disease. In this article, a dentist lists some of the best things you can do to safeguard your precious smile.
Thoroughly Brush Your Teeth Before Bed
You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, but doing so before bedtime is especially important. This is because you do not want bacteria and food particles that accumulated on your teeth throughout the day to sit there all night. Plus, you produce less saliva while you are asleep, which means there is less moisture in your mouth to rinse away harmful substances. When you brush, be sure to clean along the gum line and the back surfaces of your teeth. You should also give your tongue a quick brushing.
Most people underestimate the importance of flossing, but in reality, it is just as important as brushing if you want to maintain a healthy mouth. Floss cleans out the tight spaces between your teeth where your toothbrush simply cannot reach. If you find that flossing is difficult for you, ask your dentist or dental hygienist for advice. Not only can they demonstrate proper flossing technique, but they can also recommend specific products to help you maintain a mouth that is as clean as possible.
Sip on Lots of Water
Water helps to rinse harmful substances out of your mouth, and it encourages saliva production. Whenever you eat a meal or enjoy a sugary or acidic beverage, wash it down with some plain water. Although bottled water is fine to drink, it might actually be more beneficial if you drink fluoridated tap water. The fluoride can help to strengthen your teeth and replenish bits of enamel that get worn away throughout the day.
Eat Crunchy Veggies and Fruits
The somewhat rough texture of raw apples, celery, carrots, and other crunchy fruits and vegetables can help to clean your gums and teeth. The chewing action also strengthens your jaw and encourages saliva production.
Cut Back on Sugar and Acid
Things like soda, candy, and other sugary and acidic items should be rare treats rather than daily indulgences. If you find it difficult to stop enjoying such items cold turkey, try replacing them with less harmful alternatives. For example, you could try drinking unsweetened fruit tea rather than soda, or you could switch to sugar-free candy.
Are you doing all you can to take care of your teeth and gums? Making a few simple adjustments to your daily routine may help you to avoid serious oral and overall health issues.
About the Author
Dr. Erick Anderson is a general dentist in Colorado Springs. He is happy to help his patients maintain oral health through regular cleanings, checkups, and personalized advice. If you would like to talk to him about how you can protect your smile from decay and gum disease, contact his office at 719-593-0988.