The perfect Hollywood smile is something that we all yearn for and if you follow dental basics you can charm people with your pearly whites too. Apart from the visual aspect, dental health is something that should be prioritized always.
Plaque and cavities can create more problems in the future and we all know how painful toothaches are. Dental health is also an expensive affair, so if you want to keep your smile intact and your bank balance stable, these easy-to-follow best practices cannot be understated.
Brush Before Bed
This is something we hear all the time and is probably number one on all the ‘good dental habits’ lists. But why is brushing your teeth before you sleep so important? A lot of plaque buildup and food particles collect in your mouth as the day progresses and if you go to bed without brushing, the tooth decay process gets a boost while you sleep. Clean up your teeth and mouth before sleeping to avoid this. Brush after dinner and do not eat anything else. This interrupts the bacteria from eating into your tooth enamel.
The Brushing Process
The brushing technique is equally important to fight tooth decay and preserve your teeth. In fact, brushing the wrong way can be not only ineffective but also harmful for your oral health. Be gentle and avoid horizontal movements. Follow the line of the spaces between your teeth so you can take out all the food particles. Be gentle, you’re brushing your teeth – not scrubbing your kitchen floor.
Do Not Ignore Your Tongue
Bad mouth odour often comes from the tongue and insides of the mouth, apart from decayed teeth. You need to clean your tongue as well as your teeth during a brush. You can use the toothbrush itself but there are many who prefer a tongue-cleaner to prevent a gag reflex that might happen due to the brush.
When using a scraper, start from the back of your tongue and wash the residue that has collected after every single scrape. Your tongue should be as close as possible to its natural pink tone. After a good couple of scrapes, rinse with mouthwash.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
Hydration is another very crucial factor for good dental health, amongst many other things. Dr Phillip DeJesus from DeJesusDental.com explains that drinking plenty of water helps to protect your teeth by rinsing away food particles and increasing saliva production.
Beware of substitutes for water though.
There are some liquids that encourage the growth of bacteria – juices can have a detrimental effect on your teeth. Most juices do not contain only the fruit they advertise – there is a lot of sugar content too. Heavy on sweeteners and corn syrup with high fructose content, these drinks also have very negligible nutritional benefits so you are better off removing them from a dental-friendly diet.
Even juices that have 100% fruit content are not great for the teeth – you will be piling a lot of sugar into your system with a regular glass of apple or grape juice. More dental experts nowadays are requesting parents to reduce juice in their children’s diets and instead replace them with fresh fruit. After all, there is always a price to pay for too much convenience. Fresh fruit has a higher fibre and much more nutrient content.
The Importance Of Flossing
The areas between the teeth are the trickiest to clean. Regular toothbrush bristles have little effect on the tight spaces between the teeth and around the gums. Flossing is a gentle but effective way to clean this part, the most vulnerable of your teeth structure.
Flossing should be done every day before you brush your teeth. Just make sure you do not overdo your flossing, it can cause abrasion on the surface of the gums between the teeth and lead to bleeding.
Diet For Good Dental Health
So what are the best foods for good teeth? The great news is that there is a very long list of all your favourite things. Dairy products – milk, cheese, yoghurt (non-sweetened) – are fantastic for your teeth and overall health. They have very less sugar content and are high on protein and calcium.
Calcium is a wonderful element that is very important for bone and teeth strength. Phosphorous is also a very important prerequisite for good bone and teeth health. Eggs, poultry, and lean meats are perfect sources and delicious too. Fish is another very good food for dental health.
Why are fresh fruits and veggies good for your teeth? Let us start with the fact that they have high water content (remember the thing about staying hydrated). Most veggies and fruits come with all the necessary nutrients and a safe amount of sugar (or none). The fibre also encourages the chewing process, which in turn releases more saliva, a natural cleanser of your mouth. Some fruits and veggies have a rough surface which cleans the surface of your teeth while you consume them.
Dentists and other oral health experts also recommend adding nuts to your diet. Low carbs and high mineral content make nuts the ideal combination for your body. Carbs are the biggest culprits when it comes to tooth decay – they are the easiest compounds for bacteria to process. Nuts give you the nourishment you need without the baggage of carbohydrates. Just like other high-fibre foods, nuts also promote the production of saliva.
Things To Watch Out
Smoking is very harmful to your teeth. A smoker’s nicotine stains are very visible so if you are a smoker, here is one more reason to kick the habit. Sticky, sugary foods and carb snacks are also major culprits that cause tooth problems. Avoid indulging in too much candy or junk food (which is usually very high in carbs).
In fact, bread is also a food that is associated with tooth decay – a good flossing session or rinse is always recommended after you have consumed bread. For those who love sweets, chocolates are a better option than sour candy – the latter is very acidic and sticks to your teeth.
Carbonated drinks are very bad for your teeth. Soda causes the enamel on your tooth to erode and over a period of time, you may start suffering from tooth sensitivity or infection.
Alcohol dehydrates your mouth and that reduces the saliva content. It has the exact opposite effect of drinking water on your oral health. If you are having a few drinks, remember to gulp some water in between to replenish your lost saliva. Citrus fruits like lemons and oranges are very good for health but the acidic content is bad for your teeth. Rinse after you have had a citrus fruit and avoid them when you are getting treatment for a mouth sore or infected tooth.
Some Common Dental Problems
Cavities are something that most people have to contend with at some point in their lives. They are the most common dental problem.
Periodontal disease is another major condition faced by many dental patients across the country. Gum diseases are actually of many types. Gingivitis is the early phase of the periodontal disease and a dentist’s intervention is crucial at this stage.
Tooth sensitivity happens when nerves under the tooth are exposed and it can be a crippling condition where even simple ice cream can spell pain. Tooth infections occur when the pulp tissue and nerves underneath the tooth are damaged – they can happen in the advanced stage of tooth sensitivity cases. Infections can cause intense pain and swelling. Completely infected roots will require root canal treatment.
Visit The Dental Experts Regularly
We cannot stress enough on how important a visit to the dentist is. The experts are there for a reason, armed with the knowledge and best equipment to ensure that you do not have serious dental issues. Why wait for a problem to grow when you can nip it in the bud? A dental check-up every six months is recommended.
There are many types of dental services you can avail. A dentist can help bring back your confidence with a complete suite of cosmetic dentistry services. Veneers are popular because they are simple to attach and do not require any complicated procedure.
Emergency Dental Services
It is always good to know good dentists in your local area, so you can reach out during emergencies. Accidents and falls can happen and teeth damage is a possibility. Timely intervention and action can save an injured person from losing his or her teeth.
Some of the common injuries include cracked teeth, chipped or broken bits, a knocked-out or loosened tooth, bleeding from the cheek, tongue, or gum areas, and severe toothaches.
If a tooth has been knocked out, you can still save it with timely intervention. Clean the fallen tooth very gently and place in a small container filled with milk. A prompt appointment with the dentist is necessary to have any chances of reattaching the fallen tooth.
From daily best practices like brushing and flossing to knowledge about the foods to eat and those to avoid, these are the core things will help you maintain oral health. Follow the tips and spread the word – let everyone enjoy the benefits of strong and healthy teeth.