Did you know that only 16% of U.S. adults floss daily and less than a third brush their teeth twice a day? As a result, about 65 million American adults have gum disease. Gum disease is among a wide array of other oral illnesses that can lead to serious health issues.
Oral illnesses like gum disease and gingivitis can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. With this in mind, you must do everything possible to maintain your healthy teeth and gums.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at a comprehensive guide on dental hygiene and what you can do to take care of your oral health and avoid problems later on.
Table of Contents
1. Brush Twice a Day
One of the most basic things you can do to maintain healthy teeth and gums is brush teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time. Use a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste. Brush the inner surface, outer surface, and chewing surfaces of the teeth, taking extra care to reach all areas in between the teeth.
Moreover, brush your tongue to get rid of bacteria that cause bad breath. Rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of toothpaste. Avoid swallowing toothpaste while brushing as it contains fluoride.
2. Rinse With an Antibacterial Mouthwash
Antibacterial mouthwashes like Chlorhexidine or Listerine can help keep bacteria away and prevent oral infections by killing germs in the mouth cavity. Dental practitioners recommend rinsing with an anti-bacterial mouthwash for 30 seconds after brushing and cleaning between teeth. That said, make sure you don’t swallow it as some brands contain alcohol.
3. Floss regularly
There are numerous benefits of flossing, and it has been proven to reduce plaque by 20%. You must get in between all of your teeth and break up the buildup because it will cause bad breath and possible infections if left alone. If you find yourself struggling with flossing, try using a Waterpik or interdental brushes.
Waterpik can improve gum health and keep teeth clean because it uses a jet of water to remove plaque from areas that a toothbrush can’t reach, such as between the teeth and below the gum line. This method is also called water-flossing or power brushing. If you have braces, use an interdental cleaner brush instead.
4. Don’t Consume Too Much Sugar and Drink Lots of Water
Recent studies have linked too much consumption of sugar to various mouth problems like tooth decay and gum disease. You should also avoid drinking beverages containing refined sugars because it increases the risk of developing cavities and other dental problems.
It’s also recommended that you consume six to eight glasses of water every day so your saliva can work better as a natural defense against oral diseases like plaque. Plaque hardens into tartar when left untreated for long periods. Bacteria in plaque produce acids that can erode enamel, making teeth sensitive after many years leading to serious conditions such as root canal therapy or even tooth loss.
5. Watch Your Bite
If you grind or clench your teeth at night, try getting a nightguard to protect them from wear and tear if they hit together when you sleep. Additionally, keep track of how much pressure you are putting on them while eating hard foods.
The problem is that it could crack or chip your teeth over time. If you are still having trouble with your bite, get fitted for occlusal equilibration, which are mouth guards that change your bite to avoid any unnecessary damage.
6. Visit Your Dentist Regularly
You should visit the dentist once or twice a year to help keep track of your oral health. This way, you’ll catch any early signs of decay or gum disease. Many minor oral problems, if left untreated, can cause serious damage to teeth and lead to pain and teeth loss in some cases.
For every tooth you have, you must visit your dentist at least once or twice a year for regular cleanings and checkups. Children’s dental cleanings are also crucial for your kids if you have any, and you must ensure you find the best dentist. During the initial examination, your dentist will assess the current condition of each tooth before carrying out any necessary treatment procedures.
They’ll then suggest what you can do to maintain excellent dental hygiene and avoid oral health issues altogether. When you get a checkup, ask questions about your oral health and ask for other great tips for healthy teeth and gums about your oral health.
7. Stop or Limit Snacking
Snacking is a significant contributor to tooth decay because there’s nothing to reduce the amount of time food spends in contact with your teeth. The longer food stays on the teeth, the more time acids have to attack them.
Case in point, try not to snack between meals or just drink water instead if you’re thirsty. If you do snack, choose whole fruits over processed snacks. They contain nutrients, unlike refined sugars in processed snacks.
8. Eat Healthy Foods for Good Dental Health
You need to consume enough vitamin C every day because it helps prevent tooth decay by strengthening the surface layer of your teeth against acid attacks. Eating during mealtimes keeps blood sugar stable. When blood sugar drops too low, it makes it harder for the body to fight infections, increasing the risk of dental problems developing.
Additionally, snack on veggies regularly because this is a great way to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Although fruits are high in sugar, they also contain fibers that stimulate saliva flow. This helps neutralize acidity levels in your mouth, preventing gum disease and other illnesses.
Veggies, on the other hand, are not high in sugar, but they still stimulate saliva production. Saliva helps to wash away bacteria that can cause tooth decay. Most vegetables are good for your teeth, so snack freely between meals when you’re hungry.
9. Avoid Smoking and Chewing Tobacco
This is one of the most important things you can do to maintain healthy teeth and gums. You see, smoking or chewing tobacco reduces blood flow to your gums, making them more susceptible to tooth decay, gum disease, and cancer.
They also increase the chances of oral cancer in patients with a history of head and neck malignancy. Cigarette smoke contains ammonia that can irritate the lining inside your mouth, especially in people who already have a dry mouth problem.
The Best Tips for Healthy Teeth and Gums
Caring for teeth is an easy process because all you have to do is brush twice a day, floss, and get a checkup once or twice a year. It’s easy for you to avoid serious oral health issues like gingivitis and other serious illnesses that stem from that. Follow the tips stipulated above, and you’re bound to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
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