In your quest for improved health this year, don’t forget about your mouth. Caring for your teeth and gums properly can have a significant impact on your overall health and quality of life. At Schererville Family Dentistry, we want to help patients maintain a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
Follow these five simple tips to ward off dental diseases and promote optimal oral health.
Tip 1: Commit to better oral hygiene. If you want to keep your mouth healthy this year, commit to practicing good oral hygiene habits at home. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each session — remembering to brush the tongue and along the gum line. Since your toothbrush can’t clean the tight spaces between your teeth, don’t forget to floss daily to remove food and plaque that could cause cavities and gum disease.
Tip 2: Refine your brushing technique. You might be brushing your teeth twice daily, but are you brushing correctly? To maximize brushing power, be sure to take the time to brush properly. Hold your toothbrush at a slight angle against the gums and teeth. Gently brush in a back-and-forth motion — focusing on the outside, inside and chewing surfaces of each tooth. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush that fits your mouth comfortably, and don’t forget to replace it every few months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed.
Tip 3: Make tooth-friendly food choices. A well-balanced diet is great for your body, but it can also contribute to healthy teeth and gums. To combat cavities and gum disease, reduce sugar-laden sweets and drinks from your diet such as sodas, candies and cookies. Likewise, some foods contain essential nutrients that help keep your mouth healthy and strong. Including foods such as raw fruits and vegetables, cheese, milk, plain yogurt, lean proteins and whole grains in your diet can benefit your oral health due to their nutritional value.
Tip 4: Kick bad habits. In addition to the damaging effects smoking can have on your total-body health, it can have serious negative effects on your mouth. Research shows that smoking is linked to periodontal disease and oral cancer. It also can lead to tooth loss, teeth stains and is a major cause of bad breath. If you’re ready to give up smoking once and for all, talk to your dentist. Quitting now can significantly reduce your risk for oral health problems and contribute to better overall health.
Tip 5: Make dental appointments a priority. Maintaining regular visits with your dentist can go a long way in keeping your mouth and body healthy. During a routine checkup, your teeth are professionally cleaned to remove plaque and tartar that cause cavities and gum disease. Your dentist will examine your mouth for abnormalities, address potential issues and, if necessary, make recommendations for treatment or suggest changes in your oral hygiene.
Great Oral Health Starts Now
Your oral health impacts your overall health and should be a priority. By making small, positive changes to your oral health habits now and regularly visiting your dentist, you can expect to keep your mouth looking and feeling great this year — and many years to come!