Poor dental care can lead to a variety of issues such as cavities, gingivitis, periodontitis, jaw or mouth pain, abscesses, heart disease, preterm labor, or difficulty talking and eating. This can severely impact your quality of life and self-esteem. Proper dental hygiene is an important component of your health, and there are several practices to keep in mind when taking care of your teeth.
1. Brush Twice a Day
Brush your teeth at least twice a day, preferably in the morning and at night. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to help strengthen your teeth and prevent decay. Brush for at least two minutes. Imagine your mouth split into four sections and spend 30 seconds on each section. Also, be sure to change your toothbrush regularly -- at least every 3-4 months is a good rule of thumb.
2. Floss Regularly
Strive to floss your teeth once a day with quality floss. This will help remove food and plaque, which aren't always addressed with brushing. Floss your teeth after you brush, preferably at night. Once inserting the floss between your teeth, curve the floss into a C shape and use a rubbing motion. Many people use a back-and-forth sawing motion, which can irritate the gums and leave behind unwanted plaque.
3. Avoid Too Much Sugar
Sugary foods and drinks can cause a lot of damage to your teeth. Sugar can leave behind a sticky residue, attract harmful bacteria, and encourage cavities and tooth decay. Don't consume too many sugary foods and drinks. When you do eat or drink products with plenty of sugar, brush and floss afterward to remove as much residue as possible.
4. Seek Proper Dental Care
While proper brushing and flossing can go a long way, it's important to see a dentist regularly. Dentists typically perform x-rays and other imaging scans to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy. They will conduct an exam to look for gum disease, tooth decay, and other issues. Dental hygienists will also perform a cleaning on your teeth, typically every 6-12 months to remove plaque buildup that you can't get rid of with regular brushing at home.
Taking care of your teeth may not be at the forefront of your mind. However, dental hygiene can have a huge impact on your overall health and well-being and should be taken seriously. Brush and floss regularly, limit your sugar intake, and visit the dentist regularly to ensure your teeth get the attention and care they deserve.
Thousand Oaks Smile Design
- Daniel Elbert, DDS -
Creating Healthy Teeth and Gums, that Last a Lifetime!