A smile is the prettiest thing you can wear, but it’s not the only reason you should strive for healthy teeth. In fact, dental health goes far beyond aesthetic value. Good oral health is linked to your overall health. While there are diseases that impact the health of your teeth and gums, there are oral diseases that impact the vital organs of our body. As such, it is imperative to consciously maintain healthy teeth and gums. Below are the top 5 tips for maintaining healthy teeth:
- Brush Regularly: Regularly brushing twice a day is extremely important. You should use a soft brush, preferably one with a small head so that it can reach all corners of your mouth, including the back of the teeth. Also, change your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or sooner, if the bristles are frayed. In fact, if you’ve been sick, you should change the toothbrush you used during that time, once you’re all better.
- Flossing is a must: Flossing your teeth regularly is one of the most effective ways of keeping your teeth and gums healthy. It removes food particles and plaque from inaccessible parts of the mouth like between your teeth, or under your gum line. Regular flossing after brushing keeps both tooth decay and gingivitis away.
- Visit a dentist regularly: According to the American Dental Association, you should visit a dentist every six months so as to detect tooth decay at the earliest stages, and prevent serious damage to the tooth. Most people wait for something like a toothache or gum bleeding before going to the dentist. However, by that time, their condition has already worsened. Also, many new parents do not realize the need to take their infant to the dentist for an oral exam. Every child should have their first dental visit by the end of their first year, or within six months of the first tooth breaking through the gums.
- Eat right: Diet and eating patterns have a huge impact on tooth decay and gum diseases. While it is important to have a balanced, nutritious and healthy diet consisting of fruits and vegetables, grains, dairy items, lean protein foods, etc., it is also important to know what to avoid. Sugary and acidic foods and drinks are actually the primary causes of tooth decay and damage, and should be avoided. You should also limit intake of food that causes gastrointestinal reflux, or other eating disorders as these problems increase the risk of weak and cavity-ridden teeth. Make healthy choices, and limit the junk food.
- Be wary of accidents: There are some golden rules to protecting your teeth, and possibly avoiding a dental emergency. Here’s the list:
- Consider the use of a mouthguard when playing sports.
- Don’t use your teeth as a tool. If you need to open or rip something, find the scissors!
- If there are food particles lodged in between your teeth, don’t use a sharp object for getting it out as you may damage the tooth or gums. Use dental floss instead to gently remove the particle.
Follow the above tips to maintain your oral health, and in any emergency situation, visit your dentist right away!