If you’re reading dental health tips online, chances are you are already conscious of the impact of oral health. So, you probably know the basics: Brush at least twice a day, floss, avoid sugary snacks, and so on.
But, believe it or not, dentistry makes advances every day, just as any other branch of medicine. Dental health professionals are constantly learning new things about our mouths, and developing new ways to heal, protect, and care for our teeth and gums.
How to Improve Your Overall Dental Health
Based on that new research, here are a few dental health tips you might not have heard before:
- Get a new angle on things. When brushing your teeth, the position of the bristles matters. The head should be at a 45-degree angle near the gum line, and again when you go to clean the inside surfaces of your teeth.
- Give your tongue some attention. Plaque and bacteria can gather on, around, and under your tongue too. Clean the surface of your tongue daily, either with your toothbrush or with a tongue cleaner. This will also help prevent bad breath!
- Seal off trouble. Sealants are thin protective coatings applied to the back teeth that can help prevent decay and cavities (caries). Sealants are an especially good idea for kids, who often have trouble reaching their back teeth while brushing.
- Suit up those teeth. Sports are good for our bodies, but they also provide opportunities for bangs, bumps, and crashes. In fact, most school teams now require children to wear mouth guards to safeguard teeth, especially for rougher sports. So it's not a bad idea to have one yourself, for any sort of recreational activities. This is true even if it’s not a team sport – skateboarding, rock climbing, or even just hitting a ball against a wall can all present a threat to your teeth.
- Make fluoride earn its keep. You should already be using a toothpaste with fluoride. But you might not be receiving its benefits if you rinse with mouthwash right after you brush. Mouthwash can rinse away fluoride before it has a chance to work, so wait 15 minutes or let the fluoride get to work on your enamel.
- Chew your way to better dental health. Chewing sugar-free gum after eating or drinking can help protect your teeth and gums, especially after eating sugary foods. Better yet, finish your meal with a cube of cheese. This can help reduce the effect of acids from food on your teeth.
- Get more sun. Specifically, get more Vitamin D – which you can get from supplements or exposure to the sun. Both Vitamin D and calcium help keep teeth and gums strong.
- Practice the basics. Even if you follow these healthy tips, they will do little if you are not already practicing the basics, brushing, and flossing twice daily. You also want to avoid bad habits that can cause damage to your teeth over time.
- See a dentist when everything is fine. Most people don’t bother with a dentist appointment until something goes wrong: A tooth falls out, a sudden pain makes it hard to chew, or an injury causes a chip or crack. But most problems can be prevented if their underlying cause is found early. A regular check-up more than pays for itself by preventing costly dental procedures down the road.
The Happy Tooth Can Help You Get on Track
Good oral health is not complicated, but it does take some discipline and know-how. Want more expert advice on how you and your family can keep a healthy smile? Visit The Happy Tooth professionals at a location nearest you!