Caring for your smile means doing more than just visiting your dentist every six months. In fact, the bulk of caring for your smile involves what you do at home to keep it clean and healthy. Read on to learn about 5 ways that you can protect your dental health at home.
What is Dental Health?
Our dental health, also known as oral health, is what affects our ability to eat, speak, smile, and even show emotions. It’s the health and functionality of our teeth, gums, and other soft tissues of the mouth. The CDC explains that in addition, oral health also affects a person’s self-esteem, work/school performance, and attendance at work/school. With poor dental health, a wide range of diseases and problems can. Oral diseases can cause pain and infections that can lead to issues with your overall health, speaking, eating, and more. It’s important that you do all you can to safeguard your oral health.
5 Ways to Protect Your Dental Health at Home
Good dental health begins in the comfort of your own home and begins at a young age. If you’re wanting to take better care of your smile, follow these 5 tips:
1.Make sure you are properly brushing your teeth
Many people get into the routine of brushing their teeth and forget how to do it properly. When done properly, brushing your teeth should take about two minutes. We understand that lives get busy and we just want to rush off to work in the morning or to go to sleep at night, but you have to do more than quickly swiping your teeth with a toothbrush.
To properly brush your teeth, the American Dental Association (ADA) says you should:
- Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
- Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
- Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
- To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
2.Floss once a day
Flossing is the only way to clean those tight spaces between your teeth. Unfortunately, the bristles of your toothbrush can’t reach in these areas which is why this extra step is required. You should take the time to clean between your teeth at least once a day to remove plaque, bacteria, and any food debris left after you have brushed your teeth. To properly floss, the ADA recommends you should:
- Use about 18 inches of floss and wind it around one of your middle fingers, with the rest wound around the opposite middle finger.
- Hold the floss tightly between the thumbs and forefingers and gently glide it between the teeth.
- Curve the floss into a “C” shape against the side of the tooth.
- Rub the floss gently up and down, keeping it pressed against the tooth. Don’t jerk or snap the floss.
- Floss all of your teeth. Don’t forget to floss behind your back teeth, too.
3.Watch your diet
What you eat and drink directly affects the health of your teeth and gums. If you are enjoying acidic and sweet foods and drinks regularly, the bacteria in your mouth could be creating an acid with these foods and drinks that then attacks your enamel. Rather, enjoy these items less frequently to protect your smile. Further, instead of immediately brushing your teeth after consuming these kinds of foods, wait at least 30 minutes to brush your teeth. These acids leave your teeth vulnerable, and brushing them immediately after can do more harm than good. Instead, rinse your mouth out with water first and wait to brush your teeth.
Fluoride is a great addition to your dental hygiene routine that you can use at home. It can strengthen and protect your teeth from cavities, sensitivity, and more. Look for fluoride toothpastes at your local grocery store and consider using a fluoride mouthwash, too. Additionally, many communities in the United States have fluoride added into their tap water. If your community has this, help your smile by enjoying a glass of tap water every now and then.
Water is important for our overall health. When it comes to your teeth, drinking more water throughout the day can help rinse away food and bacteria from your teeth when you can’t brush them soon.
Make an Appointment with Niles Family Dentistry
Another key thing to do for your dental health is to make your regular dental appointments at Niles Family Dentistry. You should see the dentist every six months for a routine cleaning and exam. If you’re past due for your checkup, call us today (720)-744-0001.