Your smile isn’t the only reason to maintain healthy teeth. Healthy, functional teeth allow you to chew your food, sound out your words, and protect the soft tissues inside of your mouth. Here are five rules to follow to keep your smile as healthy as possible.
1. Brush and Floss Every Day
Brushing your teeth clears away microscopic food particles before they have time to turn into cavity-causing plaque. Flossing is just as important to remove plaque from between the teeth. When enough plaque builds up to feed the bacteria in your mouth, resulting digestive enzymes begin to eat away at your enamel to create cavities or tooth decay. Ideally, you should brush and floss twice a day, after meals. Don’t forget to brush the surfaces of your tongue as well, which can also harbor food particles and bacteria, resulting in bad breath.
2. Use Toothpaste with Fluoride
Fluoride is a mineral that promotes acid resistance and strengthens enamel, thus protecting your teeth from cavities. When it’s applied everyday through your toothpaste, it can stop tooth decay in its early stages and significantly decrease the risk of developing serious dental problems. Most popular brands of toothpastes available in drugstores today contain fluoride as an active ingredient, but always be sure to look and find which brand is best for you and your teeth.
3. Drink Enough Water
Sipping on water throughout the day keeps you hydrated, allowing your mouth to produce enough saliva to naturally flush your mouth clean. Drinking water on a regular basis will also rinse food particles from your teeth and tongue. Try to stick with plain water as your beverage of choice instead of juice, soda, or other sugary, cavity-promoting drinks.
4. Follow a Healthy Diet
A healthy, nutritious diet provides enough vitamins and minerals to support strong teeth and bone, among many health benefits. Emphasizing healthful foods will also lower your exposure to sugar, which naturally causes issues for your teeth. For general health, many doctors recommend following a Mediterranean diet with plenty of fresh vegetables, fish, legumes, and yogurt as part of your daily dietary intake.
5. Visit Your Dentist Often
To address minor issues before they turn into serious ones, it’s important to get a dental exam every six months. It’s especially critical for children to visit their dentist regularly to establish good habits, trust, and observe any potential problems as they get their new, adult teeth. If you have children in your family, consider using a family dentist who serves patients of all ages.
Maintaining healthy teeth should be part of your overall wellness plan. With a healthy smile, problems such as gum disease and tooth decay are virtually unheard of. Follow the above tips to keep your teeth pristine and smile with ease.
By Dixie Somers / Freelance Writer