It’s no secret that healthy teeth and gums are the key to a beautiful smile, but did you know that your oral hygiene can also impact your overall health? Research shows that dental diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis can directly contribute to other health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and pneumonia.
At Klement Family Dental, our goal is to help people achieve beautiful smiles so that they can live a confident, healthy life. Visiting the dentist for a routine cleaning twice a year is a crucial part of keeping teeth and gums healthy, but the majority of the impact you can have on your oral hygiene happens at home. Check out our top five habits we encourage to maintain great oral hygiene between visits to the dentist below.
Brush Twice Daily and Floss
Our first recommendation should come as no surprise – brushing and flossing are undeniably the best ways to maintain great oral hygiene at home.
You don’t need to brush your teeth hard to get good results – in fact, it may actually lead to the opposite in the longrun. Firm-bristle toothbrushes can wear away at your tooth enamel (the teeth’s protective layer), which is something that cannot be replaced. Damaged tooth enamel can result in more bacteria sticking to your teeth which can result in decay.
Flossing either before or after brushing is essential for making sure every surface of your mouth is clean. If you skip flossing, bacteria still has room to grow on up to 40 percent of your tooth surfaces!
We recommend brushing with a soft bristle toothbrush for at least two minutes and flossing at least once a day as the best way to maintain a healthy smile at home.
Use Mouthwash with Fluoride to Keep Teeth Strong
There are many myths surrounding the safety and efficacy of fluoride, but the truth is simple. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps prevent or even reverse tooth decay. Fluoride mouthwash works by incorporating into the enamel coating of your teeth to protect them from acids produced by bacterial plaque and sugars.
A fluoride rinse mouthwash is a quick and easy habit to incorporate into your routine and is especially beneficial to adults and children prone to tooth decay or cavities.
Change Your Toothbrush Regularly
It may seem like the primary reason to change out your toothbrush is because worn bristles wouldn’t do as good a job cleaning your teeth, but there’s even more to it than that. Over time, the bacteria you brush away from your teeth can stick to and multiply on the bristles of your toothbrush. Additionally, worn-out bristles are often more abrasive, which can result in premature gum recession and inflammation in your gums.
The cavity-causing bacteria that live in your mouth create tooth decay by eating sugar and then producing an acid byproduct that wears away enamel. We learn as kids that eating too much candy can cause damage to our teeth, but it’s important to remember that sugary drinks like soda cause cavities as well. Drinking water, especially right after a meal or a sweet treat, is a great way to rinse away any food residue that might be stuck to your teeth so that the bacteria has nothing to feed on. It also dilutes any acids the bacteria may produce.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
The food you eat to fuel your body has been shown to have an effect not only on your likelihood to develop several chronic diseases but also on your dental health. Consistent nutrition guidelines are essential to maintaining your overall health and good oral health.
Most of us know that foods that contain sugars of any kind can contribute to tooth decay, but on the other hand, there are foods you can incorporate into your diet to improve your smile, such as fibrous fruits and veggies.
It’s not only what you eat but when you eat that can affect your dental health. Limit between-meal snacks to limit the opportunity for cavity-causing bacteria to multiply in your mouth.
Call Klement Family Dental Today
Practicing these good habits can make your smile healthy and strong and will make your dentist proud! If you’re due for a routine dental cleaning in St. Petersburg, FL, call or schedule an appointment online with us at Klement Family Dental today!