- Brush twice a day
Brushing twice daily is the foundation of good dental health. Brushing your teeth helps break up plaque. Plaque is a sticky layer of matter that is home to bacteria. It accumulated on the teeth, including in areas a toothbrush can’t reach and is created when the food you eat cause the bacteria in your mouth to produce acids. Plaque also produces substances that irritate the gums and can lead to gum disease.At Upland Dental we recommend brushing your teeth at least twice per day with a soft-bristled brush. Use a toothbrush which has a size and shape that fits your mouth and allow you to reach all areas easily. Use gentle short strokes, reaching the outer surface, the inner surface and chewing surfaces of the teeth. Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.Dentists recommend brushing three to four minutes, the average length of a song. So turn on that radio and enjoy your favorite bop as you get your teeth healthy and clean!
- Use fluoridated toothpaste
When brushing, use a fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral present in many foods and water. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to the plaque that builds up during the day. It can even reverse early decay!Fluoride is also present in most kinds of toothpaste. Using a fluoride toothpaste helps prevent tooth decay while you brush! When you visit Upland Dental for a cleaning you can also have fluoride applied directly to your teeth after a cleaning to help repair your teeth. Fluoride and calcium in your diet can help keep your teeth healthy and cavity-resistant.
- Floss every day
Flossing helps get rid of plaque that builds up in areas that brushing cannot reach: between teeth and under the gumline. There are a few types of dental floss you can choose from. A dental ribbon is smoother and more comfortable than traditional floss. If your gums ache or bleed when you floss you might want to try ribbon floss.Flossing is the best way to fight gum disease, which if left untreated become a risk factor for diabetes, heart disease among others. Bacteria can also cause bad breath and improve the appearance of your smile. Like brushing, it is better to do it once a day and to do it slowly.Next time you’re at Upland Dental, feel free to ask about the best flossing techniques. We’ll be happy to demonstrate how to floss the proper way so you can be sure to keep your smile for years to come.
- Limit acidic drinks and sugary foods
Acidic drinks, like soft drinks, fruit juices, and coffee, all wear down your teeth. When you consume a sugary, or acidic drink, the bacteria will interact with the sugar in the drink to create acid. This combined with the acid present in the drink create a very bad environment for your teeth.There are two main effects soft drinks have on your teeth. The first is the erosion of the enamel on your teeth. Tooth enamel is the outermost protective layer on your teeth, and when it is damaged it reduces the surface hardness of the tooth. Soft drinks also affect the next layer of your tooth, the dentin. This damage can create cavities, which are formed over time as bacteria and plaque build up.You don’t have to completely refrain from enjoying these. Drinking with a straw helps bypass the teeth, and brushing soon after and brushing regularly will help repair your teeth. You can also fight tooth decay with foods that help protect the tooth enamel
- Eat foods that protect tooth enamel
There are a surprising amount of foods that are both delicious and easy to make that help with maintaining your dental health. Consuming these foods instead of high-sugar foods is a great way to help your teeth and help maintain your daily health. Here are just some of them:
- Black and green tea contain a compound that helps disrupt the bacteria that live on your teeth. Drinking just a few cups a day can even help fight bad breath, as the tea contains compounds that control the bacteria’s creation of smelly compounds.
- Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables help get your saliva going. Saliva contains minerals like calcium and phosphate which help restore the enamel on your teeth. Cheese, milk, plain yogurt, and other dairy products also contain calcium and phosphate that help restore your tooth enamel.
- See your dentist for regular check-ups
Your dentist at Upland Dental is your number one ally in your journey to healthy oral and dental health. Having regular check-ups are the best way to keep track of your dental health and to assess if any treatments are needed. Generally, you want to have at least two check-ups a year, generally about six months apart.During the appointment, your dentist will check on your overall oral health, look for any cavities. X-rays are taken to detect cavities between teeth. They will also look for the build up of plaque and tartar. Tartar is hardened plaque and cannot be removed by brushing. They will also check your gums and use a special tool to measure the depth of spaces between your teeth and gums. With healthy gums, the spaces are shallow.Your teeth will also get a good cleaning at the visit, where they will use specialized tools to clean the tartar that has built up, and then polish your teeth to help remove any surface stains on our teeth. Finally, your teeth will be flossed to make sure all areas of your teeth are cleaned.
- Don’t use your teeth for anything other than chewing food
ATeeth might appear to be very strong, but it is very easy to chip, break, or damage a tooth when using it incorrectly. Hard items put more stress on your teeth than the enamel can handle. Ice, in particular, can be very damaging to your teeth. It is hard, and its coldness causes your enamel to expand as you chew, and the enamel can develop tiny cracks.Chewing and smoking tobacco also ruins your mouth’s immune response and can dry out your mouth. This exposes your tooth roots, which lack the hard enamel of the rest of the tooth, ing them particularly susceptible to being damaged. Cavities and gum disease are a common side effect of chewing and smoking tobacco.
- 8. Avoid over-brushingWhile brushing twice per day is important, it is possible to wear down your tooth enamel through over brushing. Vigorous brushing can wear down the enamel on the teeth, as well as damage and push back the gums. Plaque doesn’t need to be scrubbed off. It actually is so soft it could be removed with a rag. What should be the focus of your brushing is being thorough. Aggressive brushing offers no further benefit.Use a soft-bristled brush and go slowly and move in short strokes about the size of the tooth, several times in the same spot. Apply just enough pressure to feel the bristles against the gums, if you’re squashing the bristles you’re brushing too hard.
Follow these eight tips and you’ll be on your way to having exceptional dental health!