Life can get rather hectic between your time spent at work, taking care of your family, and your home, and things always seem to come up at the least expected time. No one has time for a dental complication and the costs that can come from dental work.
Whether you have perfectly straight teeth or still need some adjusting to achieve your perfect smile, there are many ways to ensure your teeth and mouth are healthy at every stage. You’re brushing and flossing regularly and going to your dental cleaning and checkup twice a year, but could there be more that you could be doing to ward off plaque buildup, gum disease like gingivitis, and oral injuries like a chipped tooth?
Our friendly and knowledgeable team at Germantown Dental Group believes in providing both expert dental care and exceptional dental education to help you develop the best possible oral hygiene routines. Keep reading for our top tips for keeping your teeth healthy!
Start kids early
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, children should be seen by a dentist within six months of their first tooth coming in but no later than age one to establish a foundation for their dental care. This is a great time to start teaching your child to brush their teeth and address any concerns you may have about their oral hygiene routine with their dentist.
Fluoride twice a day
It’s no secret that you should be brushing your teeth twice a day, but if you aren’t using toothpaste with fluoride, you may not be getting the protection you need. Most people get some of their recommended fluoride from their drinking water but utilizing fluoride in your oral hygiene routine while brushing helps strengthen your tooth’s enamel and prevent tooth decay.
Take your time while brushing. Moving in gentle circular motions and focusing on each tooth will ensure you remove as much plaque and debris as possible without harming your gums.
Clean between your teeth
Plaque is a sticky film that contains bacteria that feeds on the excess sugar and food in your mouth. Over time this plaque hardens into tartar which gets stuck between your teeth and below your gum line. Over time, the acid produced can eat away at your tooth’s enamel to create cavities and foster gum diseases like gingivitis.
Floss comes in a variety of textures, flavors, and methods. String floss, dental picks, interdental brushes can make getting into the tight spaces and below the gum line easier to achieve. For a more thorough between the teeth and below the gum clean, a Waterpik is an oral pulsating irrigator that aims a strong stream of water precisely where you need to remove debris and other build-up without effort or discomfort.
Don’t forget your tongue
It might be surprising to some to be told to brush your tongue, but plaque can also build up on your tongue, which can lead to not only bad breath but also other oral health problems. Tooth decay is the result of rampant bacterial activity in your mouth, and removing as many sources from your mouth as possible can give you an extra level of defense against decay.
Eat a healthy diet
These days just about everything can be traced back to your diet, and the connection between your diet and your oral health is no different. Not only can getting the proper nutrients boost your teeth’s overall health but eating certain foods can either help or harm your teeth’s enamel surfaces.
Eating fresh, crunchy fruits and vegetables can not only help remove plaque build-up as you bite into them and chew, but they are also much more difficult for bacteria to break down as they don’t contain many of bacteria favorites like carbohydrates, fats, oils, and sugars. In comparison, consuming sugary foods feeds this bacteria that lead to gum disease, while acidic food and drinks can prematurely destroy your tooth’s protective enamel coating.
Rinse after meals
It may not be realistic to be able to brush your teeth after every meal, but you should at least make an effort to rinse the debris from your teeth and gums with some warm water or even a recommended mouthwash. Mouthwash can help reduce the amount of acid in your mouth, reaches deep between teeth where a toothpick can’t reach, and even re-mineralizes teeth.
Regular dental visits
You are your number one defense against plaque, and the other oral threats life can present. Still, seeing your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups twice a year can maximize your protection and help spot potential issues before they become a monster of their own kind. Your dentist is equipped with the tools and knowledge to spot cavities in the darkest areas of your mouth and can give you a deep cleaning to clear any spots you may struggle with daily.
When a dental emergency presents itself, make sure you schedule an appointment with your dentists as soon as possible. Many dental emergencies can be fixed pretty easily if tended to promptly.
Don’t use tobacco
You know smoking is bad for your health, so it should be no surprise that cigarettes and chewing tobacco are also harmful to your oral health. Tobacco use causes bad breath and stains your teeth and tongue. It can cause slow healing from tooth extraction or other oral surgery and even make correcting some cosmetic dental concerns problematic. Using tobacco products also significantly increases your risk of gum disease and oral cancers.
Avoid oral piercings/protect from impact
Body piercing is a popular form of self-expression, but oral piercings like in your tongue, lips, cheeks, or uvula can be harmful to your tooth surfaces and overall oral health. The bacteria introduced can lead to infections and swelling in your mouth. The metal piercings can cause irreparable damage to your tooth surfaces and may interfere with getting clear images with X-rays and other dental imaging instruments.
Another threat to your teeth’s health is the impact that can be common with sports and recreational activities. We recommend wearing an appropriate mouthguard to avoid chipping, cracking, or even displacing a tooth while participating in impact sports. Mouthguards can be custom-made by your dentist but most commonly are sold in sporting goods stores like “boil and bite” mouthguards that are warmed with water and then bitten firmly to form a perfect fit for your mouth.
To keep your teeth healthy, trust Germantown Dental Group
For more than 40 years, our skilled dentists at Germantown Dental Group have created beautiful smiles for patients just like you. Our world-class dental team is ready to give you the smile and experience you’re looking for in maintaining your teeth’s health.
With experienced cosmetic dentists, a board-certified periodontist, and smiling dental professionals standing by to create an unforgettable dental care experience for you, we are ready to answer any questions you may have and care for any dental concerns that may arise. Get in touch with us today to schedule your appointment for your best smile at either our Memphis or Germantown, TN location. We look forward to seeing you smile!