You probably think of great oral hygiene as brushing twice a day and flossing. That’s a good part of maintaining great oral hygiene, but there are a few other things you can do to make your smile healthy and beautiful.
Advanced Dental Associates is here to provide quality preventive and restorative dentistry and to share some great dental tips. We want to keep your teeth healthy, and that means turning you on to healthy dental habits and providing elite preventive dentistry in the office. Today we want to run through 10 ways to you can improve your oral hygiene outside of the dental office. Great preventive care means spending less on restorative dentistry down the road.
Don’t Skip Dental Appointments
Whether you have dental fear or a busy schedule, it’s wise never to skip a dental appointment. The six month cleanings and exams are the time we dentists monitor the teeth and check for any flaws in the smile. If you have an infection, then it’s better to discover and treat the problem early rather than waiting for it to get worse. About 20 percent of Americans have some sort of dental fear. If fear is keeping you away from the dentist, then we can offer great relaxing dentistry.
Remember to Floss
A recent study published by the American Dental Association found that only 4 out of 10 American floss regularly. That’s a troubling number of people considering that flossing is a great way to prevent gum disease, which is leading cause of tooth loss. If you’re not flossing, you’re not cleaning a major portion of the teeth, about 35 percent by most estimates, and increasing your risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
Brush longer, not harder
We dentists recommend that patients brush twice a day, but patients often don’t brush long enough. In fact, some patients even make the mistake of brushing too hard. Hard brushing can wear down the enamel or cause irritation in the gums. Plaque and harmful acids that you need to remove by brushing is actually soft and easy to remove. You just need to make sure to brush every area of the mouth. The next time you brush, try setting the timer for two minutes. Or look for a dental app — there are free apps for children and adults — that can offering some brushing guidance.
Don’t ignore signs of bleeding or swollen gums
Having bleeding gums of swollen gums is the first sign of gum disease. Unfortunately, gum disease is the number cause of tooth loss. Gum disease actually claims more teeth than dental decay or even dental trauma. So don’t ignore the early signs of gum disease. Even more scary, the later stages of gum disease are not curable! If the disease is not stopped in its tracks early, you might have to deal with the problem forever. We recommend that people with gum disease visit the dentist once every three to four months for routine cleanings.
Ditch the soda
It’s no secret that we dentists preach against soda consumption, but we certainly understand that some patients still partake in soda drinking. Enjoying a soda now and then won’t harm you. These drinks contain about 40 grams of sugar for every 12 ounces. Sugar is a major culprit when it comes to fighting off gum disease and tooth decay. And recent studies have found that people who consume three or more sodas a day face a 62 percent higher risk of tooth decay.
Stop smoking or using tobacco
Smoking or using tobacco leads to serious overall health problems, stains the teeth, and increases the risk of oral cancers. Smoking or using tobacco also makes it more likely to have gum disease, which you learn can quickly spread around the mouth and cause teeth to fail. Additionally, an overwhelming majority of people who have been diagnosed with oral cancers regularly use tobacco.
Try snacking on healthy fruits and vegetables
You probably think of fruits and vegetables as healthy snacks. Too citrus fruits or veggies high in acid can be a bad thing because they can damage your enamel. A good rule of thumb is to find fruits and vegetables that are crunchy — like celery and apples. These crunchy fruits help produce saliva in the mouth, which washes out food debris and fights off harmful bacteria.
Consume calcium or healthy vitamins
Dairy can be great for your smile. The calcium and vitamin D in dairy will strengthen your teeth, gums, and bones, and dairy also combats any harmful acids that might be in your mouth. Vitamin B is also helpful for the health of your teeth and gums, along with zinc, copper, potassium, and iron.
Use fluoride-based toothpastes
Great brushing is a way to reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, and it’s best to find a good toothpaste with fluoride. Fluoride is a natural mineral that is proven to reduce the risk of tooth decay and to even restore enamel. Most water supplies around the country have fluoride, but our dental office can also provide fluoride treatments.
This is a great tip for any aspect of your health. Drinking water will help keep you hydrated AND reduce your risk of harmful acids spreading throughout the mouth. Water will also flush food debris from the mouth, so you’ll have less plaque buildup between your dental visits.
If you follow just a few of these tips, you’ll improve your oral health and lower your risk of harmful dental problems. Of course, you can always meet with our team of experts, too. Give us a call today at 210-819-5233 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment.