Most people take their dental health for granted, and it is only when something goes wrong that they realise the important role teeth play in everyday life. However, it is quite straightforward to take care of your teeth using a combination of professional dental care and good oral care at home. Here are a few tips to help keep your pearly whites in great shape.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Regular dental checkups and cleans should be top of your list. Unfortunately, people often wait until something is wrong before coming to see us. But regular dental checkups are essential for detecting signs of trouble before they cause worrying symptoms, and most people need to see a dentist every six months.
Don’t Ignore Symptoms
You might think seeing blood on your toothbrush is no big deal, but it can be a sign of untreated gum disease. Early gum disease is reversible with proper oral care, but without the right treatment, it can lead to tooth loss or even affect your general health. Gum disease is linked to major health problems, including heart disease.
Daily flossing is important as your toothbrush cannot clean between teeth. Without flossing, approximately one-third of your tooth surfaces remain dirty. Trapped food and plaque bacteria in these contact areas can cause problems like tooth decay and gum disease.
Choose Snacks Carefully
If you like to snack between meals, choose your snacks carefully. Avoid sticky or sweet foods that get trapped on and around your teeth. The longer these foods remain on your teeth, the worse it is for your dental health. Your risk of cavities can greatly increase as every time you eat these foods, you feed the bacteria in your mouth, and these produce acids that erode your tooth enamel. Instead, choose foods that are good for your teeth, like crunchy fruits and vegetables or calcium-rich milk products like cheese or sugar-free yoghurt.
Don’t Brush Your Teeth Too Hard
We sometimes see patients with gum recession caused by scrubbing their teeth too hard and using a hard-bristled toothbrush. You don’t need to use a lot of force to clean your teeth thoroughly; it is more about using the right technique and tools. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush and clean your teeth using small circular motions. If you use an electric toothbrush, it may include a built-in sensor that alerts you if you are pressing too hard.
Watch What You Drink
Sugary drinks can negatively impact your smile, especially if you sip on them over a long period, continually bathing your teeth in sugar. If you want a sugary drink, try using a straw that will limit the exposure of your teeth to this liquid. Otherwise, rinse your mouth with plain water as soon as possible afterwards to help wash away excess sugars. Avoid diet or sugar-free drinks as these often contain acids, which are equally bad for your teeth.
Paying even a bit more attention to your daily habits can positively impact your dental health.