Compared to maintaining a healthy body (having to be careful of what you eat, spending time at the gym, etc.), keeping your teeth and gums healthy seems relatively simple. Follow these tips to prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and other dental problems.
Brush and Floss
These instructions are the number one guidelines given by dentists for a reason. Keeping your teeth clean and free of plaque and food debris is the most important step you can take in preventing dental problems. Brushing should occur at least twice a day. Because flossing gets to the 40% of tooth surfaces that your toothbrush misses, it’s important to include it in your daily oral regimen as well.
Your toothpaste should contain fluoride, as the mineral helps strengthen your tooth enamel, making your teeth more resistant to plaque and decreasing the risk of tooth decay. The bristles on your toothbrush should not be too hard (this can damage your enamel) and the toothbrush should fit comfortably in your mouth. An electric toothbrush may be preferable, but a manual will get the job done as well, if you are brushing properly. Be sure to replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months.
Mouthwash provides backup to the brushing and flossing routine, getting into the nooks and crannies that you missed in order to remove food particles and debris from between teeth and reducing plaque and killing bacteria.
Even with a strict oral healthcare regimen, it’s important to keep regular appointments with your dentist. The cleaning that you get in the dentist office is much more thorough than anything you do for yourself at home. Additionally, it’s a chance for your dentist to check for any underlying dental problems.