With all the health advice available today, it’s hard to know what’s actually important to your oral health. Dr. Brent Blaylock and his team in Durham, NC want you to know the top 10 dental care tips so you can keep your mouth and body healthy for years to come.
1.Flossing is as important as brushing
Yes, your hygienist knows when you haven’t been flossing! Your teeth need to be flossed every day because it removes plaque from between teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach. If plaque remains in these hard-to-reach places, you could end up with gum disease, which is linked to Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular problems.
2. Use toothpaste with fluoride
Toothpaste containing fluoride is important because it helps strengthen teeth and can help reverse early signs of tooth decay. Both adults and children need fluoride to support healthy teeth and prevent cavities.
3. Brush your teeth every day
There’s a reason you’ve been hearing this advice since you could talk! Brushing your teeth twice a day removes leftover food particles and bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease.
4. Don’t forget your tongue
If your tongue has a white or yellow film on it, you might be forgetting to brush it. When you brush your teeth, don’t forget to run over your tongue to remove foul-smelling bacteria that can cause bad breath.
5. Maintain a healthy diet
A healthy diet is important not just for overall health, but is important for your teeth in ways you might not expect. In addition to good nutrition provided by healthy foods, a lot of fruits and vegetables are crunchy and chewy, which promotes saliva production. Foods that require a lot of chewing are good for the teeth because more saliva means the mouth is naturally washed out more often.
6. Limit sugar intake, including sugary drinks
Sugar makes it easier for bacteria to grow in the mouth. These bacteria exist naturally inside the mouth and feed on the leftover food particles on the teeth, so when you eat high-sugar foods, your oral bacteria are getting a boost. The more bacteria there are, the more likely you are to get cavities. Reducing the amount of sugar in your diet will help keep oral bacteria from multiplying as quickly.
7. See your dentist twice a year
Regular dental exams are essential to preserving your oral health. Your dentist can spot early signs of tooth decay before they become severe, helping you avoid complex dental procedures. They will also perform X-rays to ensure your teeth are well-supported.
8. Stay hydrated
A lot of dental health advice is similar to advice for your overall health. Staying hydrated is not only good for your body, but it actually helps keep your teeth clean by helping the body produce saliva. Saliva washes out the mouth, removing oral bacteria and leftover food particles, which could eventually cause cavities.
9. Take care of your toothbrush
Your toothbrush doesn’t need any special cleaning, but make sure it dries after each use and there is no leftover toothpaste. Store it upright and exposed to air and your toothbrush will be good to go!
10. Don’t chew on hard items
This may go without saying, but try not to bite down on hard candies or even non-food items like pen caps or fingernails. This can damage teeth.
Dr. Blaylock is here to help you maintain your oral health. Schedule an appointment today to keep your smile healthy!