Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for a healthy lifestyle. Not only does it contribute to healthy teeth and gums, but it can also prevent several health issues, such as heart disease, respiratory infections, and diabetes.
The prevalence of dental problems such as cavities and gum disease is high in the United States. This makes it all the more important to adopt good oral hygiene practices to ensure healthy teeth and gums.
However, many people still struggle to maintain proper dental hygiene and may not be aware of the best practices for achieving good oral health. In this blog, we’ll discuss some tips and tricks for keeping your teeth and gums healthy and strong.
1) Visit The Dentist Regularly
Visiting the dentist regularly allows for early detection of any dental problems, so they can be treated before they develop into something serious. In addition to routine care, emergency orthodontic care is also available for those who experience sudden dental issues.
Yet, many individuals, including those in Chapel Hill, struggle to access the dental care they need. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources & Services Administration estimates that as of Sept 2019, 2.4 million residents of North Carolina had difficulty accessing dental care.
But there are still reputable clinics that offer emergency orthodontic care in Chapel Hill, such as Clifton & Mauney Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry, that ensure that their patients receive the best possible care.
2) Eat A Healthy Diet
Nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains provide essential vitamins and minerals that support healthy teeth and gums. Foods with high calcium levels, like dairy products, help strengthen teeth and protect them against decay. Additionally, foods that require significant chewing, such as apples and carrots, stimulate saliva production, which helps neutralize harmful bacteria in the mouth. By incorporating a healthy diet into your daily routine, you can achieve optimal oral health and protect your teeth and gums for years.
3) Drink Plenty Of Water
Water helps to wash away food particles and bacteria that can accumulate on the teeth and gums, reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Drinking water also helps to keep the mouth hydrated, which is essential for preventing dry mouth, a condition that can increase the risk of oral health problems. In addition, water that contains fluoride can help to strengthen teeth and prevent cavities.
4) Floss Daily
Make flossing a part of your daily routine to keep your teeth and gums healthy and avoid more costly and invasive dental procedures in the future. Flossing removes food particles from areas between teeth and along the gum line that a toothbrush cannot reach. It can prevent the buildup of plaque, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Not flossing regularly can result in inflammation, bleeding, and even loss of teeth.
5) Limit Sugary And Acidic Foods
Sugary foods, such as candy and soda, can stick to the teeth and promote the growth of harmful bacteria that can lead to dental caries. Acidic foods, such as citrus fruits and vinegar, can erode the enamel on teeth, leading to sensitivity and decay. Individuals can reduce the risk of dental problems and maintain good oral health by minimizing the consumption of these foods.
6) Avoid Tobacco
Tobacco use can have a significant impact on oral health, leading to a range of problems such as:
- Smoking and other forms of tobacco use can increase the risk of gum disease by reducing blood flow to the gums and interfering with the body’s immune response.
- Tobacco can cause teeth to become stained or discolored over time.
- Tobacco can cause bad breath, which can be a source of embarrassment and social isolation.
- Tobacco use is a significant risk factor for oral cancer, a potentially life-threatening condition affecting lips, tongue, mouth, and throat.
- Tobacco use can interfere with the body’s healing ability after dental procedures such as tooth extractions or oral surgery.
Overall, avoiding tobacco is crucial for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. If you currently use tobacco, quitting can be challenging, but there are many resources available to help you quit. Speak with your healthcare provider or a dental professional for more information and support.
7) Wear A Mouthguard During Sports
Wearing a mouthguard during sports helps protect teeth and gums from impact injuries that can occur during physical activity. Contact sports, in particular, pose a high risk for dental injuries such as chipped or broken teeth and, in severe cases, tooth loss or damage to the jaw. A properly fitted mouthguard can act as a cushion, absorbing the impact force and reducing the risk of dental injuries. Additionally, wearing a mouthguard can help prevent injuries to the tongue, lips, and cheeks.
8) Use A Fluoride Mouthwash
Using fluoride mouthwash as part of your daily oral hygiene routine helps to prevent tooth decay, strengthen enamel, and protect against bacteria and plaque. It can help to freshen your breath and leave the mouth feeling clean and healthy.
When selecting a fluoride mouthwash, look for one approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). This means the product has been tested and found to be safe and effective.
9) Consider Dental Sealants
The chewing surfaces of molars and premolars are coated with a thin layer of protective material called a dental sealant. They’re frequently constructed of plastics or other elements from the dental industry and help stop tooth decay and other dental issues.
Dental sealants are easy to apply and are relatively inexpensive. Unlike other dental procedures, such as fillings or root canals, dental sealants do not require drilling or invasive procedures. They can typically be applied in just one appointment and can last many years with proper care. Talk to your dentist to see if sealants are a good option for you.
Maintaining healthy teeth and gums requires daily attention and effort. Implementing best practices such as regular brushing and flossing, a healthy diet, and visiting the dentist for check-ups and cleanings can prevent common dental problems and ensure a bright smile for years to come. Taking good care of your teeth and gums benefits your oral health and contributes to your overall well-being. By following these best practices consistently, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong for a lifetime.