Your permanent teeth are expected to last a lifetime and they need proper care to stay healthy. While most people know they should brush and floss daily, some important dental habits are often overlooked. Dental health is not only important for a beautiful smile. Proper care of your teeth prevents gum disease and cavities. Recent studies have even linked oral health to better health throughout the body.
5 Habits for a Healthy Mouth
Good oral health is built through the proper home care, the foods you eat, and the help of your dentist. If you have ever experienced tooth pain, you know you don’t want to have it again. Follow these habits to keep your teeth and gums healthy. (See also: Your Oral History: Keeping Your Teeth and Gums Healthy as You Age)
1. Brush the Right Way
Most people know they should brush daily, but that is not all you need to know. Proper brushing includes brushing your teeth at least twice every day and flossing after you finish. Brushing at night removes bacteria and plaque obtained during the day. Skipping the floss means you are missing most of the surfaces of your teeth. It is also important to brush your tongue to get rid of additional bacteria. Some often forgotten tips for proper brushing include:
- Brush for at least two minutes. It takes two minutes to properly brush each of your teeth. Set a timer or brush for the full length of your favorite song.
- Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle. Brush back and forth in short strokes. Clean the outside, inside, and chewing surfaces of each tooth.
2. Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Even when your teeth look and feel great, it is important to visit your dentist twice a year. Routine check-ups include a professional cleaning and important images of your teeth. During your cleaning, your dentist uses special tools that achieve a deeper clean than you can get with your regular toothbrush. Professional cleanings combined with proper home care remove hardened plaque and prevent cavities.
Your dentist takes X-rays of your teeth to ensure your teeth are staying healthy and strong. Dental images can show cavities before they are big enough to cause pain and other problems. If you wait to visit the dentist until you are in pain, it can be too late to save your damaged tooth. X rays are the only way to check the health of the roots of your teeth. These images help your dentist diagnose potential dangers like cysts, bone decay, and tumors.
Besides cleanings and imaging, your dentist works to detect other conditions before they become threatening. Dentists are specially trained to find jaw problems, gum diseases, and cancer of the neck, throat, face, and tongue. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss. Your dentist is trained to notice the signs of gum disease before it progresses.
3. Kick Bad Habits
Most people know certain habits are bad for their health. Did you know that some habits are bad for your teeth? Bad dental habits can crack your teeth and impact your jaw. Some dental habits to avoid include:
- Biting your nails – It may seem harmless, but this gross habit can introduce bacteria to your mouth. Regular nail-biting can also lead to chipped teeth and added jaw pressure. Some ways to ditch this habit include bitter-tasting polish or substitutions that keep your hands busy.
- Using your teeth as tools – This habit is dangerous for obvious reasons. Before you crack or chip a tooth, or worse, swallow something dangerous, ask someone for help. The seconds you lose finding a proper tool will seem small compared to the time, pain, and cost of having your teeth repaired.
- Chewing ice – This habit is a sneaky one. Ice can actually be considered food. However, ice is hard and chewing it can cause tiny cracks in your teeth over time.
- Smoking – Even when you brush regularly, smoking is bad for your teeth. Cigarette smoke dries out your mouth and causes gum disease.
- Frequent snacking and consumption of sugary drinks – Sweet drinks and snacks bathe your teeth in sugar encouraging plaque buildup.
- Teeth clenching and grinding – This habit is common and often related to anxiety. Most people don’t realize they are even doing it, and some people grind their teeth while sleeping. Damage can include chipped, cracked, and loose teeth. Other major problems include jaw damage, worn teeth, and chronic neck pain.
4. Change Your Diet
It’s no secret that sugary snacks are terrible for your teeth. Other dangerous foods include acidic foods and drinks, starchy snacks, and sticky chewy foods. Some foods can actually improve the health of your teeth and gums. Some examples of good dental foods include:
- Leafy greens – These healthy foods are high in calcium for strong teeth and folate for healthy gums.
- Yogurt – High calcium and protein content make yogurt great for teeth, while probiotics benefit gum health.
- Apples – The action of chewing this tasty fruit increases saliva production that washes teeth. The texture also creates a natural scrubbing action.
- Water – Regular water intake increases saliva and washes away bacteria.
- Almonds – This healthy snack is high in vitamins, calcium, protein, and fiber, all of which are great for promoting strong healthy teeth. Chewing almonds also helps promote the proper PH factor of your mouth by preventing acid formation.
5. Try Mouthwash
Brushing and flossing are essential, but mouthwash can be helpful too. Some areas in the mouth are hard to reach. If you have difficult flossing areas, mouthwash is a useful addition to your routine. Mouthwash also reduces acid in the mouth which can deteriorate tooth enamel. The use of mouthwash can be particularly helpful for children who haven’t yet mastered brushing and flossing and those who suffer from arthritis which makes hand movements difficult.
Practicing proper dental habits is essential for keeping your smile beautiful. It is also necessary for maintaining your oral health. Whether you are trying to keep your mouth healthy or are experiencing dental problems, contact our professional team at newnhamfamilydental.com.au/ for a consultation today.
About The Author:
Anne Kamwila is a freelance content writer and a digital marketer. She is passionate to write about health, technology, and business related guides, news, and books.