Healthy Habits for a Happy Smile

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     Healthy teeth require a lifetime of maintenance. Even if you’ve been told you have nice teeth, it is still important to care for them properly every day to avoid issues. This involves using the appropriate dental care products and paying attention to your regular routine.

Don’t go to bed without brushing your teeth
Throughout the day, germs and plaque build up on your teeth so it is important to end every day with brushing your teeth. Teeth have very small spaces that are hard to see where build up may develop. Brushing every night ensures that you go to sleep with a clean and fresh mouth.

Brush properly
We all know that brushing your teeth is the most important thing to do for cleaning your teeth but many people don’t know how to properly brush their teeth. Make sure you select a good toothbrush because you will be using it regularly. Dentists recommend finding a brush based on your gum health. If you have more sensitive teeth, use a brush with softer bristles. Another important note to make is to change your toothbrush every few months. If you don’t know when to change it, see if the bristles are splayed out and no longer upright, or if your teeth don’t feel clean after you brush. Now that you have a proper toothbrush for your needs, let’s learn the best techniques to brush properly.

Dr. Jiang, a prosthodontist in the Department of Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology at Harvard School of Dental Medicine suggests brushing with a fluoride toothpaste for two minutes. Divide the time among each second of your mouth, brushing for 30 seconds per section. Angle your brush towards your gums where they meet the teeth which is mainly where plaque and germs collect. When you brush, make circles with the bristles. Lastly, be gentle and rinse your mouth and your brush when you are done to ensure there is no more debris or toothpaste residue.

     Don’t neglect your tongue
Everyone talks about brushing your teeth, but brushing your tongue is just as important because there are a lot of bacteria living on your tongue. Whether you want better breath or overall better dental health, brushing your tongue is super crucial to better dental care habits. Your tongue naturally has crevices and elevations that bacteria can and will hide in unless it is removed. The best way to clean your tongue is when you are done brushing your teeth to rub your brush over your tongue a few times to scrub it clean or invest in a tongue scraper. A tongue scraper is a small curved piece of metal that will scrape the germs and bacteria off your tongue leaving it clean and fresh.

Flossing is just as important as brushing
We covered brushing your teeth and brushing your tongue, next comes your gums, specifically flossing. Flossing is important because it removes food particles and plaque between your teeth and along the gum line. In between your teeth, cavities can form because your toothbrush can’t quite reach in there. Flossing ensures that you are cleaning everywhere in your mouth, even in the hard to reach areas where plaque will build up creating cavities and bad breath.

Consider mouthwash
After brushing your teeth, your tongue, and flossing, it is ideal to finish up with a mouthwash of some sort. Regular use of mouthwash helps prevent periodontal disease and if the mouthwash contains fluoride, it will reduce cavities. Mouthwash helps get rid of bacteria in your mouth and ultimately reduces the amount of dental plaque that forms. Mouthwash is a perfect step to end your mouth and teeth care routine because it will wash everything away and leave your mouth clean and your breath smelling fresh.

Drink more water
Drinking water is great for your overall diet, but what if we told you that it was just as beneficial for your teeth! Drinking water is one of the best things you can do for your teeth because fluoridated water fortifies your teeth by restoring the calcium and phosphorus level in your dental enamel, making them stronger everyday. Hydrate, not only for your body but your teeth too!

See your dentist at least twice a year
At minimum, you should visit your dentist twice a year. Seeing the dentist twice a year will give you a more professional clean and check-up on your teeth. Not only will dentists remove plaque that your toothbrush can’t and look for cavities, but they will also be able to spot potential future dental issues and offer solutions to help you.