Oral health is a keystone in overall well-being. Poor oral health can contribute to a variety of serious health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s disease. Maintaining a healthy smile is simple when you make a daily commitment to oral care. Read on to learn a few simple lifestyle changes that can make a big difference to your smile.
Attend Two Preventive Dental Appointments Annually
Dental professionals play a vital role in maintaining healthy smiles. Just like visiting your doctor for your annual physical, you should receive a comprehensive oral exam annually. Your dentist will check all aspects of your mouth and create an appropriate treatment plan to help you achieve and maintain optimal oral health. In addition, patients should get two professional dental cleanings a year with a registered dental hygienist.
Schedule an exam as soon as possible if you are experiencing a problem with your teeth or mouth at any time. Typically, the longer you wait to address a dental problem, the worse it will get, and treatment may become more complex and costly.
Lower Daily Sugar Intake
It is well-known that sugar is bad for teeth, but you may be curious why. When sugar enters the mouth, the bacteria in your mouth start to break down the sugar, which releases an acid. This acid can easily dissolve tooth enamel which causes tooth decay to develop.
Soda, fruit juices, candy, and sweets are high in sugar. It is okay to enjoy a sugary treat from time to time, but consuming a large amount of sugar on a daily basis significantly increases your risk of developing cavities. If you choose to indulge in a sugary food or beverage, try to brush your teeth about half an hour after you finish. Since the enamel softens after eating, brushing your teeth before this half-hour window can cause more harm to your smile.
Establish a Thorough Oral Hygiene Routine
It only takes less than 10 minutes a day to keep your smile squeaky clean and healthy. We will outline an ideal daily hygiene routine to follow:
30 Minutes After Breakfast: Brush your teeth for 2 minutes. Dedicate 30 seconds to each quadrant of the mouth.
Before Bed: Use floss to gently clean in between each tooth. Use a new section of floss for each tooth. Then, swish approximately 20 ml of antiseptic rinse in your mouth for 30 seconds. Finish your nightly routine by repeating the same brushing routine you did that morning.
On-the-Go: Put a travel-sized mouthwash in your bag to freshen up your smile and remove excess food particles after lunch or a snack.
Ditch Harmful Habits
Chewing on ice, using tobacco products, and biting your nails are all hazardous to your oral health. Quitting long-term habits is not always easy, but leaving these habits behind can greatly improve your oral health and reduce your risk for dental problems in the future.
Keep A Clean Tongue
Even if you brush your teeth perfectly, there is still bacteria lurking in other places in your mouth. Not only does this excess bacteria contribute to bad breath, but it also can easily be transferred to the teeth. Cleaning your tongue is easy! You can simply brush your tongue with your toothbrush, use a tongue scraper, swish mouthwash for one minute, or make a warm water-salt solution and gargle it for a minute.
Replace Toothbrushes Regularly
Toothbrushes do not last forever! Your toothbrush (or toothbrush head for electric toothbrushes) needs to be replaced every 3-4 months. After a few months, the bristles will lose their ability to clean the teeth thoroughly. Germs build up and linger on your toothbrush over time. It is hard to remember when you started using your toothbrush, so try to set a reminder on your phone or mark your calendar on the date you need to replace it.
Making small lifestyle changes can make a big difference in your oral health. Commit to your oral health in 2023, so you can smile bright for years to come!