KEEPING YOUR TEETH HEALTHY IN BETWEEN DENTAL VISITS
Do you love that fresh feeling after you get your teeth cleaned at the dentist? It’s easier to maintain that just-out-of-the-dentist feeling that you might think, but it will take some work on your part.
Achieving and maintaining healthy teeth involves taking the proactive steps to care for them to help prevent problems and being mindful of your daily habits. If you’re looking to keep your teeth clean and healthy in between dentist visits, keep these tips in mind.
Brush Your Teeth Properly
Everyone knows to brush their teeth at least twice per day. But if you’re not brushing your teeth properly, it doesn’t matter how many times per day you brush.
Observe yourself the next time you brush your teeth. You should be holding the brush at a 45-degree angle; using short, circular motions while having the head of the brush pointed at your gum line; and be brushing each tooth 10-15 times. These are the most effective techniques for getting your teeth clean.
The next time you’re in the office for your regular cleaning, we’d be happy to talk to you and show you proper brushing and flossing techniques.
Flossing gets to the places in your mouth that a toothbrush can’t reach. Along with proper brushing, flossing leads to healthier teeth and gums. And like brushing, it won’t be as effective if done improperly and can potentially lead to gum damage.
To floss properly, wrap two inches of floss between your fingers, unrolling a new section for each tooth. Make sure the floss is tight against each tooth to break up plaque, but not too tight otherwise it will damage your gums. Don’t forget about flossing behind your last molar to ensure a full-mouth clean.
While you should attempt to brush your teeth after each meal, that’s not always possible. Chewing sugar-free gum can work in a pinch. It helps freshen your breath and gets rid of food residue until you get a chance to brush.
Chewing gum also increases the amount of saliva in your mouth. Saliva contains natural antibacterial properties to help stop bacteria from feeding off leftover food residue as well as help prevent plaque build-up.
Can the Soda
If you have a daily soda habit, even diet soda, you are doing your teeth a disservice. Phosphoric acid and citric acid, the ingredients that make soda fizzy, strip away your enamel and make your teeth more prone to cavities. While a soda once in a won’t hurt your teeth, it’s better to stick with water. Add some mint or fruit for flavor if you need it.
Cutting down on your sugar intake, in addition to reducing your soda consumption, will also help keep your teeth clean and healthy. Sugar increases acidity and bacteria growth in your mouth, which causes plaque. Plaque attacks the tooth enamel and gums, making you more susceptible to cavities and other oral issues. Brushing and flossing after eating sweets will also help your oral health.
Not only is smoking terrible for your heart and lungs, it also does a number on your teeth. Smoking increases the amount of plaque and bacteria in your mouth, making you prone to tooth decay and gum disease. In addition, the tar and nicotine in cigarettes and other tobacco products eat away at your gums. As a result, smokers are also at a higher risk of oral cancer and tooth loss. Even if you get your teeth cleaned regularly, smoking will undo all the work of your dental cleaning.
Clean While Eating
Soda and sugar can harm your overall oral health, but there are certain foods that can improve it. Eating crisp and firm food regularly – such as apples, raw carrots, and popcorn – helps reduce plaque build-up. If you can’t brush your teeth after you’re finishing eating, ending your meal with an apple (or other crisp, firm food) will help you maintain good oral health.
Even if you follow all these tips for cleaner and healthier teeth, that doesn’t mean you can skip the dentist. Regular cleanings are essential to maintaining good oral health and can alert you to any potential issues. Visiting the dentist every six months also gives you the chance to talk with your doctor and ask any questions you may have about your oral health, including any concerns, whitening treatment, and screenings.
At Walden Square Dental Care we believe that your dental visits should be as comfortable and pleasant as possible. Our staff is dedicated to treating you as a unique individual and to ensure that you are happy with your dental care. Visit us online today or call us to schedule an appointment at 847-223-0110.