Taking your oral health seriously is essential if you want to prevent cavities, keep your smile looking beautiful, and spend less time sitting in the dentist's chair. Luckily, taking just a few minutes a day to focus on oral health is all you need.
Keeping Your Teeth Healthy and Smile Beautiful
Brush Twice a Day
Brushing is the most effective way to clean your teeth. Brush at least twice a day, preferably after meals, and when you do brush, spend some time on every part of your mouth. Make sure to use a toothpaste that has fluoride in it, and replace your toothbrush with a new one every three to four months.
Floss at Least Once a Day
Flossing helps remove stuck food from between your teeth and is essential for the health of your gums. Use about 18 inches of floss, and wrap it around your middle fingers so that you can pull it tight. Focus on one tooth at a time, and use a gentle rubbing motion rather than a harsh scrape. Unwind fresh floss from your fingers as you switch teeth. If you find it difficult to use normal floss, an interdental cleaner can also be used to maintain oral health.
Visit a Dentist Every Six Months
Even if you brush and floss regularly, it is important to see a dentist at least twice a year to get a professional cleaning and checkup. You should also make an appointment if you notice any of these symptoms:
- Gums that are red, swollen, or tender
- Gums that bleed when you are flossing
- Gums that separate from the base of the tooth
- Permanent teeth that are becoming loose
- Changes in the alignment of your teeth
- Sudden sensitivity to hot or cold
- Regular bad breath or an unusual taste in your mouth
Other Tips for Sound Oral Health
Brushing, flossing, and visiting a dentist are the essentials, but there are other steps you can take – and common mistakes you can avoid - to promote better oral health:
- Never use toothpicks as they can damage the gums
- Rinse your mouth with an antimicrobial mouth rinse that contains fluoride
- Drink fluoridated water
- Limit your consumption of acidic drinks like soda and citrus juice
- Only use your teeth for chewing
- Wear a mouthguard when you play sports
- Never smoke or use smokeless tobacco
Healthy Teeth and Gums Start with You
It's much easier to make oral health a priority if you also make it a routine. Get in the habit of brushing and flossing as part of your morning and evening ritual, and resist the temptation to skip a night. It also helps to book both your yearly dentist appointments at the same time or to ask your regular dentist to send you a reminder card.
With just a little bit of effort and planning, you can reliably prevent many of the most common tooth and gum problems. If you are due for an appointment, or you need some professional advice, contact the team at The Happy Tooth.
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