Keeping your mouth and teeth in perfect condition can take a lot of lifestyle changes. So many factors go into the health of your teeth and mouth that it’s important to understand all the ways that you can make a difference in your oral health. It’s important to eat right and to take good care of your teeth in a number of ways. There are a lot of things that can adversely affect your oral health, and it’s important to take good care of your teeth and gums as you get older to keep them strong.
Brushing Your Teeth
Sure, you know how to brush your teeth. But do you know for how long or how much pressure to apply? This can make a big difference to your tooth and gum health. It’s important to brush for at least two minutes in order to do a thorough job and get to every part of the tooth. Use a soft-bristled brush and use a circular motion when you brush. If your toothbrush gets frayed quickly, you are pressing too hard on your teeth and gums. Make sure that you get the tooth at the gumline as well as the other parts of the tooth.
When you brush your teeth, it brushes away the thick bacteria film that settles on the teeth called plaque. This plaque has bacteria in it that create acids that are harmful to the outer layer of teeth, the enamel. This bacteria and acid can eat through the teeth and cause cavities to develop. When you brush at least twice a day, you can keep this layer of film at bay so that there isn’t as much bacteria and acid in the mouth, and you can help prevent cavities. The best way to do this is to brush after each meal, though many people don’t have time to do so after lunch. If you do get a cavity, you need to visit the dentist to get it treated with a filling to keep it from getting worse.
When you brush, make sure that you use a toothpaste that contains fluoride in order to better protect your teeth from cavities. For some people who are at a higher risk of oral health problems, you may also need fluoride treatments at the dentist in addition to your fluoride-containing dental health supplies.
Too many people go without flossing or only floss every few days, and that puts you at risk for a number of tooth and gum problems. It’s important to floss every single day and to do it properly. When you use floss, it gets rid of food and debris that can get in between teeth and stick at the gumline. When you don’t use it, brushing alone won’t get these hard-to-reach particles that can lead to plaque, bacteria, and acid that can damage the teeth and gums. When flossing, cup each tooth along its natural shape using a “C” motion so that you get every part of the tooth above the gums. Flossing straight up and down is not as helpful, and sawing into your gum tissue can damage it. After your floss, be sure to rinse your mouth.
Your teeth slowly change over time, but if there are some rapid changes, you need to see a dentist. Some of the most common reasons for changes in the teeth include hardened plaque, called tartar being stuck to the teeth and having gum disease. Gum disease can show symptoms such as teeth that are loose or are moving around and gums that are bleeding, swollen and/or red. If you aren’t brushing and flossing well, it can cause dental problems such as discolorations on the enamel. If you see changes, get your dental checkup and tell the dentist what has changed so that you can have the source of the changes diagnosed and treated.
Visit the Dentist for Checkups
It’s easy to get in the habit of forgetting about dental checkups or putting them off until later. However, you need these checkups for a number of reasons, and you need them at least every six months. During each of these appointments, you will get a deep cleaning of your teeth that removes tartar from the teeth and leaves your teeth and gums cleaner. This cleaning is highly important because tartar is generally not removed at home and requires a dental hygienist for removal. These appointments also allow your dentist to find any small problems with your teeth, gums, tongue, and the rest of your mouth before they get any bigger. If you need dental treatments, you will find out at these appointments and can schedule your vital treatments.
Pay Attention to Your Mouth
The teeth aren’t the only thing in your mouth that could change. If you see any changes to the rest of your mouth, including the inside of your cheeks, call the dentist. There are a number of oral diseases that could be, and it’s always best to find out as soon as possible. You also need to pay attention to what goes into your mouth. Smoking and eating sugary foods can increase your risk of both tooth and gum diseases. Make sure your diet is balanced, and if you smoke, quit as soon as you can to make your teeth and gums healthier.
When you want to keep your mouth as healthy as it can be, you need to visit The Center for Family & Implant Dentistry for all of your checkups and oral treatments. If it’s been a while since you’ve seen the dentist, it’s probably time to make your appointment for your oral health.