It’s no secret that your oral health is important. Not only does it impact the way you look, but it also affects the way you feel. If you aren’t taking proper care of your teeth, your chances of dental problems, such as decay and tooth loss (not to mention bad breath), significantly increase.
You probably already know the basics of good oral hygiene, including brushing at least twice a day, flossing, and seeing the fishkill dentist regularly, but there are some simple things that you may not be aware of that can dramatically improve the state of your dental health. Here’s a look at seven ways you can keep your teeth clean and healthy.
Get a New Toothbrush
If you can’t remember the last time you got a new toothbrush, do yourself a favor: toss it out and head to the store right now! Your toothbrush is one of the most important tools you use for your dental health. Every time you brush, it collects plaque and other bacteria, and despite rinsing it off, some of that icky stuff remains. Over time, your toothbrush will become laden with bacteria that could do your mouth more harm than good. Also, if the bristles are worn down, they aren’t going to effectively clean your teeth.
Make sure you replace your toothbrush at least once a month. If the bristles are worn before that time, replace it sooner. Opt for soft bristles over hard, as hard bristles can wear away your tooth enamel and damage your gums.
Rinsing is almost as important as brushing. It helps to loosen bacteria and plaque from the surface of the teeth and gums, which reduces the risk of decay and periodontal disease, too. Before you brush, rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash. It will make your brushing even more efficient. It can help to eliminate bad breath better than brushing alone, too.
Rinsing is also important between brushing. For example, after eating, rinse your mouth with water. You’ll wash food particles off of the surface of your teeth, which will significantly improve your oral health.
Eat More Crunchy Foods
Crunchy foods aren’t only satisfying to chew on; they can improve your teeth, too. The crunchier the food, the more you have to chew. More chewing means more saliva production and the enzymes in saliva naturally protect tooth enamel. Plus, as you chew, some of the plaque that has built up on your teeth is scrapped off. Furthermore, certain crunchy foods, like carrots, apples, celery, and nuts, are loaded with vitamins and nutrients that are great for your teeth – and your overall health, too!
Focus on Your Tongue
A dentist will tell you when you’re brushing, don’t just focus on your teeth; give your tongue some action, too. Plague and bacteria collect on the top, sides, and even underneath your tongue. If it builds up too much, your oral health could seriously suffer – and so will your breath. Brush all surfaces of your tongue and you’ll see a serious improvement in the health of your mouth.
Consider a Sealant
A sealant is a thin protective coating that is applied onto the surface of the teeth. It can help prevent cavities and tooth decay. It’s particularly helpful when applied to those hard to reach back teeth. Talk to your dentist about having sealant applied to your teeth at your next appointment. It takes virtually no time, is completely painless, and can do wonders for your mouth.
Drink Tap Water
These days, people are drinking more bottled water than tap water; however, there is something to be said for drinking water out of the tap. It’s less expensive than bottled water, it keeps you hydrated, and it’s easily accessible. Plus, in most areas, tap water contains fluoride, which means it can strengthen your teeth.
If you’re concerned about the quality of your tap water, a simple filtration system will remove any impurities.
Develop a Bedtime Routine
Brushing at least twice a day is the general recommendation. While you might be following this guideline, you might not be brushing before bed. It’s super important to brush your teeth before going to sleep because any bacteria and plaque in your mouth that has accumulated throughout the day will have a field day on your teeth and gums while you are sleeping. Don’t just brush before bed; floss and rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash, too. With this oral hygiene bedtime routine, you can keep decay at bay.
Up Your Calcium Intake
It’s common knowledge that calcium is important for strong, healthy teeth; yet many people fail to consume enough of it. Increase your calcium intake by eating more dairy products, like cheese and yogurt, and drink more milk.
Dairy products aren’t the only foods that contain calcium; other sources include broccoli, kale, watercress, sunflower seeds, and butternut squash.
By following these simple tips, you can drastically improve your oral health, save some trips to the dentist brewster, and you’ll give yourself a serious self-esteem boost, too.