If you want to optimize your oral and dental health, we applaud your commitment! To help you achieve your oral health goals, we share dental tips straight from your dentist’s mouth.
Dental Tips Straight From Your Dentist
1. Don’t Just Brush Regularly — Brush Properly
Look, we know you’re doing your best to brush your teeth, but if you aren’t doing it properly it can cause issues including tooth decay. So how do we advise you to brush properly? Follow these oral care tips:
- Use a toothpaste that works the hardest such as reducing sensitivity, fighting cavities, protecting enamel, and promoting gum health
- Choose a soft bristle brush
- Use gentle circular motions reaching every surface of your teeth
- Spend about 15 seconds per side, front to back and top to bottom, to reach your full two minutes of brushing
- Get those edges and backs
- Consider an electric toothbrush with a pressure sensor to avoid aggressive brushing that can lead to receding gums
- Brush your tongue and the inside of your cheeks to remove bacteria
- Rinse well to remove debris
Voila, perfect technique!
2. Floss For Real — We Can Tell If You Don’t!
Flossing is not something you can fake. Seriously, you need to commit and do it at least once a day. It only takes a few minutes but does a world of good. If you hate flossing, consider using different flossing tools. We can recommend some products you might find easier to use. Flossing will get rid of food particles your toothbrush can’t reach while reducing plaque buildup. It also stimulates your gums which they love.
3. Use Fluoride Mouthwash As A Finishing Rinse
Mouthwash with fluoride is a great last step in your brushing routine. You’ll rinse away debris, provide an additional dose of fluoride, and also have fresh breath. Win, win, win.
4. Enjoy More Calcium
Calcium builds healthy teeth and bones. Without enough calcium, your teeth aren’t as strong, and you can also experience more sensitivity. More dairy helps, but calcium supplements are a good option if you aren’t keen on dairy.
5. Quit Smoking
We won’t lecture you on smoking because you probably hear it enough from friends and family. But just so you know, smoking is also bad for your teeth and gums. Yellowness aside, smoking also reduces saliva in your mouth, producing more bacteria which in turn increases your risk for cavities and gum disease. The rest of the health risks we’re sure you already know.
6. Stick To Water
A lot of drinks are bad for your teeth. They either cause stains like coffee, tea, and red wine, have too much sugar like sodas, or have a lot of acids like fruit juices. So, we always say when thirst hits reach for water as your best choice. It helps produce saliva, rinses away debris, and contains no calories as a bonus. Also, it won’t erode your teeth or produce acids and bacteria. If you insist on drinking sugary and staining drinks, use a straw to bypass your teeth.
7. Improve Your Diet
Even if you follow these dental tips and ace your oral hygiene regime, if you don’t eat a healthy diet, you can suffer from a long list of dental and health woes. Reduce sugar and carbs, especially fried foods, and you’ll do a whole lot of good for your teeth and body. As mentioned above, calcium-rich foods are great and make perfect snacks, as do fresh fruit and veggies. Instead of reaching for a bag of chips or candy, healthy snacks rich in calcium and/or protein are always the smarter choice. You’ll also lose weight as a bonus.
8. Wear A Mouth Guard
Active lifestyles keep you fit but also increase the risk for mouth injuries. If you are heavily into sports, ask us to fit you with a customized mouth guard to protect your teeth. If you grind your teeth at night, we can also provide a custom nightguard to reduce damage from constant gnashing and pressure. Your smile will thank you.
9. Careful How You Use Your Teeth
Huh? Yes, this is a weird one, but it is very important. You might not realize how often you use your teeth for things they weren’t intended for. For example, opening packages, biting your nails, or chewing on the end of a pen. All of these habits can lead to tooth damage including serious cracks. So only use your teeth to chew and bite food, as this is the only way they were intended to be used!
10. Quit Chomping Ice
We feel there are two groups of people: Those who chomp ice and those who don’t. Chomping ice can cause a lot more damage than you might think. Chewing anything hard like candy can lead to cracks and breaks, so stop chomping ice. Leave it in the glass where it belongs. And from us non-ice chompers, it really is a loud and annoying habit, so we appreciate your effort to stop!
11. Skip The Midnight Or Late-Night Snacks
If you tend to snack at bedtime or in the middle of the night, this is a habit you need to break. First, it just isn’t healthy, and second, even if you snack and immediately brush your teeth, you’ll still go to bed with food debris on your teeth and in your mouth. Those food particles cause bacterial growth which then stays in your mouth all night long. This is a perfect storm to create cavities and gum disease. And this includes healthy snacks. No late-night snacking — period.
12. Don’t Miss Your Regular Dental Checkups
This might sound self-serving, but we know that when you miss your regular dental checkups you likewise miss your regular professional cleanings. Dental hygienists are an important key to your oral health as they remove the plaque and tartar your toothbrush can’t. But there’s more to it than that. Your checkups allow us to look for possible oral health issues. If we spot them early on you can avoid pain and the potentially high cost of restorations. Our checkups keep your teeth clean and prevent severe issues from developing. Plus, it’s always nice to see you. 😊
The good thing about oral health is that most dental issues are preventable and resolvable. The better you are at caring for your teeth, the less risk there is for serious issues to develop. One last word of advice — as soon as you notice changes to your oral health let us know. We’ll take a look and make sure we take care of it before it becomes serious.