Good oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist are important in order to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Not only do you want to maintain good oral health, but you also know the value of good breath and shiny white teeth. With that, we’ll cover some of our top dental hygiene tips to help you make sure you’re providing the best care possible for your teeth and gums.
The team at Smile Designers of Longmont is here to provide Top Rated Local® dental care for the entire family. Whether you need pediatric dental services, emergency dental services, or a regular checkup, we’re here to help. Contact our dental office today to book an appointment.
Brush Regularly, Not Aggressively
You probably already know that you should brush at least twice a day. This practice helps remove plaque and bacteria and keeps your teeth clean. When you brush, use small circular motions and make sure to brush the front, back, and top of every tooth. Proper brushing should take between two to three minutes. Avoid brushing too hard as this can damage tooth enamel and gums.
Many experts believe that fluoride helps prevent cavities, which is why it’s a common ingredient in toothpaste and mouthwash. Even if you take care of your teeth in every other regard, there is evidence that suggests a failure to use fluoride can lead to tooth decay. Additionally, brushing and flossing won’t prevent cavities if you don’t use fluoride.
Flossing helps to remove plaque and bacteria that can get between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. It can also help prevent bad breath by removing any debris that is trapped between the teeth. Avoid snapping the floss up and down between your teeth, as this is not only painful but will also not remove plaque as effectively. Instead, gently push the floss all the way down to the gum line before hugging the side of the tooth with an up-and-down motion.
Schedule Regular Dental Checkups
It’s recommended to visit your dentist once every six months for a checkup. A routine dental exam will include cleaning your teeth, removing plaque and hardened tartar, and a check for any visual signs of cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues. Your dentist may also use dental X-rays to check for cavities. Depending on your age, health history, and overall dental health, you may not need to go as often or you might need to schedule more frequent checkups. Speak with your dentist to see what they recommend.
Mouthwashes that contain chlorhexidine, an antibacterial ingredient, can help control plaque and gingivitis. Mouthwashes with certain essential oils can also be effective. There are also mouthwashes designed to help with bad breath and other dental problems. If you’re not sure what the best type of mouthwash is for you, talk to your dentist to see what he or she recommends. Remember, mouthwash is not intended to be a substitute for brushing and flossing.
It’s no secret that smoking is bad for you and for your oral health. Smoking harms your body’s immune system, which makes it difficult for the body to heal tissues, including the tissues in the mouth. Smoking is a risk factor for developing gum disease and can slow the healing process after a dental procedure. Additionally, it causes the teeth and tongue to turn yellow and gives a bad odor to your breath.
Limit Sugars and Starches
Consuming too many sugary foods and starches can lead to cavities. Candy and desserts are obvious culprits, but there are many other processed foods that contain incredibly large amounts of sugar as well. In addition, starchy foods such as crackers, bread, chips, and pasta can also contribute to tooth decay. The reason is that when these foods linger in the mouth and break down into simple sugars, which feed acid-producing bacteria. The acid can lead to tooth decay.
Drink Plenty of Water
Not only do you need plenty of water each day to stay fully hydrated but you also need plenty of water to promote good oral health. Many people rely on sugary drinks throughout their day, including:
- Energy drinks
- Coffee beverages
- And more
If you don’t enjoy drinking plain water, try adding some slices of lemon or cucumber to infuse a light flavor. You could also drink unsweetened tea to add some variety. The good news is that there are more beverage options available that contain no sugar or sugar substitutes, so check out your options the next time you go shopping for groceries!
Dental Office Longmont
At Smile Designers of Longmont, we want to help you achieve and maintain a smile that you can be proud of. We offer a variety of cosmetic and general dentistry services to help ensure you maintain good oral health. Contact our dental office today to discuss any concerns you may have about your oral health and schedule an appointment.