Dental Care at Home
So you go to the dentist, as recommended, every six months for a check-up and cleaning. That’s great! But, you put yourself at risk for gum disease and tooth decay if you don’t have a good oral healthcare routine at home in-between these dental visits. Make sure you’re practicing the following dental habits to ensure good dental health.
The most basic dental habit to adopt, make sure you’re doing this one right. Your toothbrush should fit comfortably inside your mouth, and it’s generally recommended that you use one with soft bristles. Hard or even medium-bristled toothbrushes can actually cause damage to teeth enamel, especially since most people brush with more force than is necessary. Replace your toothbrush every three or four months.
Brushing should take place at least twice a day – once in the morning and once at night – and you should be brushing for at least two minutes to thoroughly clean your teeth. Fluoridated toothpaste is generally recommended as fluoride helps to strengthen teeth enamel and therefore protects teeth against cavities and other dental problems.
Flossing should happen alongside brushing, at least once a day. It might be a pain to do, but you can actually miss cleaning 40% of your teeth’s surface if you skip it. Though your toothbrush has the big task of cleaning your teeth, it can’t get to all the spaces in between teeth where food can get lodged. Flossing helps to remove this debris and prevent bacteria from feeding on it and causing dental problems. For an even cleaner mouth, use mouthwash to eliminate any remaining bacteria and for fresh breath.
For healthy teeth, limit the amount of sugary or starchy foods you consume, and try to avoid snacking in between meals. Make fruits and vegetables a bigger part of your diet. Fibrous or crunchy fruits and vegetables such as apples and carrots can actually benefit teeth as the crunchy texture can “clean” teeth of any grime that may have accumulated. Additionally, calcium-rich foods such as cheese or other dairy products can help strengthen teeth.