1. Brush And Floss Daily
Everyone knows to brush twice a day and floss at least once, but sometimes people get lazy. This daily ritual is one of the best ways to take matters into your own hands and prevent cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. Remember to floss to lift out plaque and food particles in between your teeth. And, be sure not to brush too hard–instead of a more effective clean, you might risk recessed gum tissue from excessive force.
2. Stay Hydrated
You may not know this, but your saliva plays a vital role in keeping your teeth and mouth healthy. Xerostomia, a medical condition informally known as “dry mouth,” is not only physically uncomfortable but shown to increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
- When your mouth produces adequate saliva, the movement of the clear liquid in your mouth helps sweep away leftover food particles that can stain and discolor teeth or feed plaque- and tartar-producing bacteria.
- Saliva also has trace antimicrobial properties, which can help fight gum infections and other infections of the mouth.
- Though saliva is 98% water, it also contains minerals that restore your protective tooth enamel.
The best way to combat a dry mouth is to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. Some people also experience xerostomia as a side effect of certain medications or certain medical conditions, such as anemia, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, or Alzheimer’s disease. If you find that your xerostomia does not go away, talk to your doctor about an oral spray or rinse.
3. Cut Down On Sugar
Sugar itself is not harmful to your teeth–rather, it is that sugar feeds the bacteria that produce enamel-eroding acids on your teeth and attracts the bacteria that cause gum disease. Try to rinse your mouth with water after ingesting a sugar drink, snack, or dessert. If you don’t keep up your daily brushing and flossing ritual while regularly eating sugar, you could increase your risk of tooth decay, cavities, and gingivitis.
4. Quit Smoking
If you chew tobacco or smoke cigarettes, consider quitting your tobacco habit to improve your dental and oral health.
- While it’s well-known that cigarettes can stain and yellow your teeth, smoking cigarettes is also shown to increase your risk of gum disease, tooth decay, and even tooth loss. Research shows that men lose an estimated 2.9 for every ten years of smoking, while women risk losing approximately 1.5 teeth per decade.
- Tobacco can also impact your health in many other ways. Smoking has been linked to bone loss or osteoporosis of the jawbone. Tobacco use has also been linked to cancers of the mouth, with smoking increasing one’s risk for lung cancer, and chewing tobacco increasing one’s risk for esophageal and pancreatic cancers as well.
Smokers and tobacco users who lose their teeth or receive corrective dental treatment also report a decreased effectiveness of their body’s natural healing abilities. Smoking can also cause perpetual bad breath and decrease your ability to taste your food.
5. Visit Your Dentist Twice A Year
Even if you don’t have a toothache, it is important to visit your dentist twice a year or once every six months. This is because your dentist can give you a professional clean and expert evaluation on issues that you may have missed. When it comes to dental care, the best care can be preventative instead of corrective. If you are seeking dental care in the Chambersburg, PA area, consider Wolter Advanced Dental Care. Call 717-496-9093 to schedule a consultation today.