A bright, white smile can make you appear younger and more attractive, but good dental health goes beyond the surface. Your mouth is a gateway to the rest of your body, which means the condition of your gums and teeth affect your overall health.
1. Brush Regularly
Brushing removes food particle that bacteria feed on, cleans teeth, and freshens breath. A fluoride toothpaste also helps strengthen teeth, but you should be brushing for at least two minutes to allow it to work. Several electric toothbrushes, such as Sonicare sold at Dental Salon, have a built-in two-minute timer for your convenience.
2. Floss Daily
Flossing removes bacteria in between your teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach, which helps prevent gum disease. Dentists recommend flossing twice per day with at least one time occurring before bedtime. When you sleep, you produce less saliva which leaves teeth and gums vulnerable to bacteria.
3. Visit Your Dentist
Having dental check ups at least twice per year can help spot the early signs of gum disease and cavities. These problems are easily treated when caught in the early stages. If you are prone to gum disease and cavities, visiting the dentist three to four times per year may be recommended.
4. Eat A Healthy Diet
Consuming plenty of dairy and other calcium rich foods in your diet not only maintains strong bones, but keeps your teeth strong as well. Additionally, the vitamin C in citrus fruits boosts gum health. Sugary and sticky foods stick to crevices of your teeth and can cause cavities. If you consume a sugary or sticky food, it is best to brush or rinse your mouth right afterward to remove any particles that can cause cavities.
5. Don’t Smoke or Use Smokeless Tobacco
According to a study by the Journal of Periodontology, people who smoke are four times more likely than nonsmokers to have gum disease. Smokeless tobacco products can increase a person’s risk for oral cancers, such as lip, tongue, cheek, and gum. Tobacco products also contribute to bad breath.
6. Whiten Teeth
The benefits of whitening are completely cosmetic, but it is a very safe procedure that will not harm your teeth as long as the products are used as directed or supervised by a dentist. Over-the-counter products are good for minor staining, but for more severe yellowing and staining, professional whitening is recommended. Check with your dentist before starting any whitening regimen to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy.
7. Consider Cosmetic Options
Having crooked, stained, or missing teeth can affect your overall confidence. Veneers can quickly improve the appearance of crooked, stained or oddly shaped teeth while orthodontics, such as Invisalign, can straighten your teeth and align your bite to create the perfect smile! There are many other cosmetic procedures available to correct flaws in your smile – a consultation with your dentist will determine the best options for you.