Your oral health is one of the most important aspects of your life. It also impacts every other part of your life. Luckily there are a number of easy things you can do each day to ensure that you have healthy teeth for the rest of your life. Following these tips can help ensure that you have great dental health, saving you potentially thousands of dollars at the dentist’s office.
Brush your teeth before you go to bed
While brushing twice a day is recommended for optimum dental health, be sure that you are brushing at least before you go to bed. The reason is that while you sleep, the plaque-causing bacteria in your mouth basically gets free reign to feed on the scraps of food left over from the day. As they do, they produce an acidic compound that causes tooth decay.
Normally, the regular movements of your tongue and eating and drinking foods keep this process down during the day. At night this action slows down allowing plaque to build up. Brush before bed to get rid of extra food scraps, and create a healthy baseline for your mouth during the night.
Brush with proper technique
When brushing, be sure to use proper technique. This will allow you to cover all areas of your mouth and ideally help prevent any tooth decay from happening.
Proper technique is defined by short, gentle strokes at a 45-degree angle to the tooth. You want to be sure to hit all the surfaces of the tooth, the outward facing side, the inward-facing side, and the chewing surface of the tooth. Try to get every single tooth, spending a few seconds to be sure to get all surfaces. Doing so not only clears plaque build-up, but also helps apply the flouride in the toothpaste.
Wondering why fluoride is so important? Check out our next tip.
Use a fluoride toothpaste
Fluoride is a salt that is naturally produced in your saliva to aid in repairing teeth. Fluoride is added to toothpaste to deliver a power packed dose to your teeth while brushing. Not only does brushing your teeth help prevent the decay of your teeth by clearing them of bacteria and plaque, but it can actually reverse tooth decay through the application of fluoride.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring compound and is perfectly safe for consumption. Fluoride works by binding to tooth enamel and helps make it more resistant to the acid attack of bacteria. The exact mechanism by which fluoride helps protect teeth is still a point of research but studies have shown its effectiveness at protecting teeth when applied topically.
Floss at least once a day
Flossing can sometimes get a bad reputation for being cumbersome, uncomfortable, or inconvenient. However, flossing is one of the best things you can do for your teeth. Floss at least once a day to get the best oral health possible.
Flossing helps clear bacteria and plaque from between your teeth, where your toothbrush normally cannot reach. Flossing also can help strengthen the gums and clears large pieces of food that can turn into buffets for bacteria. Creating a strong flossing habit after you brush is a great way to make your next dental checkup go really well.
Stay away from sugary and acidic foods
Sugary foods are not only tasty to us humans, but are a favorite meal to the bacteria living in your mouth. Sugar gives them a lot of energy easily and quickly. Thus allowing them to produce the acid that ultimately decays your teeth. Refrain from eating sugary foods to help prevent tooth decay.
Similarly, acidic foods can wear away teeth just as badly as the acid produced by bacteria. The acid in sodas is even worse because it comes with sugar, giving your teeth a double whammy of tooth-decaying power. If you do drink soda and sugary foods, try to brush right after to help clear your teeth of the decay. Enjoy the foods you like, just protect your teeth afterward.
Drink water after every meal
Water is not only vital for almost all of your body’s vital functions, but it is a great way to rinse your mouth of excess food and sugars after a meal. The water not only refreshes you but resets the acidity of your mouth. This helps keep down the acidic attacks of the bacteria. Some areas add fluoride to their water in order to help with tooth decay, however, there is no consensus if this is effective for keeping and maintaining dental health. More studies are being conducted on the matter.