September 27, 2023
Maintaining a healthy smile requires a lifetime of continuous effort, but the rewards of oral hygiene are great indeed. Healthy teeth allow you to thoroughly chew a wide variety of foods and charm others with a pretty smile, but many people fall short when it comes to their oral care simply because they don’t know how to do it the right way. Since October is National Dental Hygiene Month, here are some oral care tips from your dentist to keep your teeth in smiling shape for decades to come.
How to Brush Beautifully
Bacteria and plaque accumulate over the course of the day. The foods and beverages we consume leave debris and residue in our mouths and on our teeth, and they provide the food and shelter tooth decay-causing bacteria need to thrive. The sooner this buildup is removed, the less harm it can do to our smiles. Take care to always brush your teeth before going to bed at least thirty minutes after eating.
When you brush, remember to do so gently with small, circular motions to remove plaque without scratching away at the enamel while using fluoride toothpaste. You should also brush your tongue, gums, and cheeks every time to remove plaque and food debris from these soft tissues. This will do a lot to keep your smile healthy and your breath fresh.
How to Floss Fabulously
Many people think that flossing is optional, but it is just as important to your dental health as brushing. Not only does it eliminate food stuck between your teeth that brushing can miss, but it stimulates blood flow in your gums, which keeps them healthy and lowers inflammation. Flossing once a day is considered enough but doing it twice or after meals doesn’t hurt.
Though flossing can be uncomfortable if you are not used to it, it only gets easier as it becomes more of a habit. You’ll eventually learn to enjoy the good feeling it leaves in your teeth, leading you to do it more often and consistently. If you’re having a difficult time getting into the habit, you might try some different flossing options like floss picks or water flossers.
After flossing and brushing, rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash can kill much of the bacteria left over while also giving you a clean, fresh, minty feeling.
Eating Great for Your Teeth’s Sake
Fibrous fruits and vegetables are great for your digestion, but their crunchy yet soft texture can help clean plaque from your teeth. Try carrots, apples, celery, and other crispy produce as a snack instead of sugary candies or starchy potato chips.
On the other hand, the bacteria that cause tooth decay love all the sugar that is far too common in the typical American diet. After chowing down on the sweet residue left by soda or empty-calorie snacks, these bacteria excrete acid that weakens teeth by eroding enamel. Sodas are already heavy on acid in the first place, so try replacing it with good old H2O. Drinking water helps wash food debris and residue from your teeth and keeps you hydrated enough for healthy saliva flow.
This October, remember that you only have one smile. By taking care of it with the right nutrition, excellent hygiene practices, and regular dentist’s appointments, you are setting yourself up for a lifetime of healthy teeth.
About the Author
Dr. Sienna Palmer earned her dental doctorate from the Ostrow School of Dentistry at the University of Southern California and is currently working toward her fellowship with the Academy of General Dentistry. She serves as a proud member of the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and the California Dental Association. Her practice in Mission Viejo, CA offers general, pediatric, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry. For more information on proper oral hygiene, contact the office online or dial (949) 365-0951.
No comments yet.
RSS feed for comments on this post.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.