Oral health is a vital aspect of an individual’s overall health. However, dental health is often neglected until toothache or gum problem arises. So, the American Dental Association (ADA), dental professionals, and healthcare workers strive to inform the public of the value of good oral health via information dissemination campaigns.
So, how do you maintain healthy teeth and gums? Check some expert suggestions below.
- Brush Teeth Properly
Dentists and health professionals usually recommend brushing teeth at least twice daily using the right steps. They also recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste.
While you probably have your way of brushing your teeth, there’s a technique that experts recommend. Place your ADA-approved toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and gently brush your teeth back and forth in tooth-wide, short strokes. Also, brush your teeth’ outer, inner, and chewing surfaces. Clean the inside front teeth surfaces, tilting the toothbrush vertically in up-and-down strokes.
In addition to brushing your teeth regularly, it’s also a good idea to do the following:
- Flossing to remove food particles stuck in between teeth that brushing cannot reach.
- Mouthwash rinsing to disinfect the mouth, especially if brushing your teeth is not possible.
- Rinsing your mouth with water if toothpaste and floss aren’t available helps wash away oral bacteria.
- Eat Nutritious Foods
Your meals should promote good dental health. Eat foods good for your teeth, such as fatty fish, meats, cheese, yogurt, milk, fruits, and vegetables. These foods are rich in calcium, vitamin C, vitamin A, phosphorus, and vitamin D, necessary for stronger teeth and gums.
Avoid foods high in sugar, such as desserts. Preserved foods or foods with artificial flavoring and additives can also affect your oral health. Sweet, hard-to-chew foods like candies can cause tooth decay and gum issues. It is best to stick to eating fresh and healthy foods for good oral health.
Eating practices may also affect your dental health. A steady intake of sugary or sweet foods and drinks such as energy drinks and commercialized juices can damage your teeth. In addition, snacking all day long can lead to tooth decay. Avoid midnight snacking because it may seriously damage the teeth and may also increase the risk of tooth loss.
Wait for 30 to 60 minutes after meals before brushing to protect your teeth and not tamper with your enamel. The ADA recommends waiting 60 minutes after meals before brushing, especially after eating acidic foods.
- Avoid Ill Dental Practices
Your teeth and gums are intended only for eating or chewing food. Don’t use them for other things, such as opening soda bottles, foil packs, or plastics. If you do these things, there’s a possibility of causing cracks or damage to your teeth.
Smoking (cigarette or cannabis) is also bad for your dental health. Tartar from cigarette cause yellowish or blackish discoloration of the tooth enamel, making teeth whitening and dental prophylaxis difficult or ineffective.
The other bad habits that can harm your teeth include the following:
- Nail-biting and thumb-sucking expose your mouth to bacteria present in the fingers
- Chewing ice cubes that may cause teeth fracture
- Teeth-grinding caused by stress and anxiety
- Heavy drinking that dries up the mouth
- Choose The Right Dental Products
Dental care products come in various choices, from toothpaste, mouthwashes, denture adhesives, and cleaning solutions. Use ADA-approved dental products to ensure the manufacturer follows dental industry standards strictly.
Check some tips on choosing the right dental products to keep your teeth and gums healthy below:
- Always read the label or listing to know the main ingredients of the dental product.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use the dental product’s dosage and cleaning directions.
- Consult your dental practitioner to determine the right products for your current dental health condition.
- Visit A Dentist Regularly
When dental health problems occur, the best person to go to is a dentist. Even if you don’t feel any oral pain or problem, it pays off to see your dentist at least every six months to assess your current dental status.
The urgent signs you need to see a dentist immediately include the following:
- Ongoing bleeding
- Severe toothache
- Swelling jaw
- Oral abscess or canker
The best practices to attain good dental health includes regular brushing and flossing of teeth and dental consultations. Eating nutritious foods also helps you gain the proper nutrients for oral health, like vitamin C and calcium. Additional measures include using the right dental products to support teeth and gum health, such as mouthwash and teeth whitening kits.