None of us are perfect, and it’s not uncommon in our hectic lives to forget to floss at night or brush in the morning. Of course, going to the dentist to receive a filling remove a rotten tooth isn’t fun, nor is it cheap. In the long run, it’s best just to listen to our beloved dentists and dental hygienists and maintain our oral health. Listed below are 9 easy and useful ideas for keeping your teeth in great shape.
1. Brush at Least Twice a Day
Dentists recommend that everyone should be brushing their teeth at least twice a day. Brushing your teeth after every meal would be ideal, but it’s difficult to expect people to commit to brushing their teeth in the public bathroom on their lunch break. Brushing once in the morning ensures that the bacteria building up in your mouth overnight is washed away, and brushing once in the evening rids the mouth of leftover sugars that plaque feeds on.
2. Start Flossing
No one likes to floss, but unfortunately, it’s a necessary component of dental hygiene. “Flossing every day removes the build-up of plaque between the teeth that bristles on a brush aren’t able to reach,” said Forefront Dentistry. Many people avoid flossing because it’s such a hassle to reach into the back of your own mouth in order to get the back molars. Luckily, there are compact floss picks available in stores today that makes flossing much easier, even in areas that are difficult to reach.
3. Change Your Toothbrush
The American Dental Association recommends that toothbrushes should be changed at least 3-4 times per year. This is because the bristles on the brush become worn out over time, making them ineffective for removing plaque. Even if your toothbrush is in good condition, you may want to consider buying a newer brush anyways. Upgrading to an electric toothbrush will seem quite costly at first, but it ultimately saves you time and removes plaque much more efficiently than traditional toothbrushes. Even just buying a different model or brand may help your oral hygiene, as the level of bristle hardness and size of the brush fits affects each mouth differently.
4. Use Fluoride
Fluoride is often found in toothpaste and mouthwash. Using a fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash is one of the most important preventative measures you can take for your dental health, as it strengthens the enamel to prevent tooth decay. You can also have a dentist apply fluoride directly to your teeth.
5. Use a Straw
Most of us are drinking sugary and acidic beverages that our dentists definitely wouldn’t recommend. These drinks break down the tooth enamel and are serious breeding grounds for bacteria. Using a straw can at least lessen the amount of sugar and acid touching and getting stuck between teeth.
6. Chew Gum After Eating
Maybe you don’t want to brush your teeth after eating your lunch at work, but chewing a piece of gum won’t hurt. Sugar-free gum can reduce gum disease and cavities by dislodging pieces of food from your teeth and also by increasing your saliva, which carries bacteria and food away while neutralizing acids.
7. Consume Less Sugar
As good as it tastes, there comes a time when we need to cut back on our consumption of sweets. When sugar becomes trapped in the teeth, bacteria, or plaque, forms and multiplies. This, in turn, creates the cavities we all dread getting filled. A good way to prevent an extra trip to the dentist is to simply cut back on sugars.
8. Stop Smoking
Addiction is difficult to overcome, but if you’re able, quitting cigarettes will have countless health benefits and especially for dental health. Smoking increases your risk of gum disease and oral cancer, stain the teeth yellow, and cause bad breath.
9. Visit the Dentist
Here is a crucial step that many adults conveniently skip over. Even though visiting the dentist is an unpleasant experience for most, we all need to go at least once per year for a tooth check-up and thorough cleaning.