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Keep Your Teeth and Gums Healthy

Your overall well-being is crucial and essential for oral health. From brushing and flossing to visiting the dentist regularly, there are many ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy. In this collection of tips, we’ve compiled the thirteen best ways to maintain good oral health. These include using an antimicrobial mouthwash, limiting sugary and acidic foods, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding smoking and tobacco products. 

We also discuss the importance of eating a balanced diet, using an electric toothbrush, protecting your teeth with a mouthguard and the pros and cons of oral piercing. By following these tips, you can help to prevent cavities, gum disease, bad breath, and other common oral health problems.

  1. Brush your teeth twice daily to remove plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth and can lead to cavities and gum disease. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner whenever the bristles become frayed. Most dentists recommend gentle brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush to avert any harm to your gums.
  1. Use toothpaste that contains fluoride because this essential ingredient strengthens tooth enamel, making it more resistant to decay. Most toothpaste contains fluoride, so be sure to choose wisely. Also, consider getting fluoride treatments from your dentist if required.
  1. Invest in an electric or battery-operated toothbrush, which is more effective at removing plaque than manual toothbrushes, as they use oscillating or rotating brush heads to clean teeth. In addition, it can benefit people with difficulty using a manual toothbrush, such as those with limited mobility or dexterity. Electric toothbrushes can also be a good option for children who may not brush thoroughly enough with a manual toothbrush.
  1. Incorporate flossing every day as part of your oral hygiene. It helps remove food particles between your teeth and along your gum line, where your toothbrush cannot reach. Flossing aids in the prevention of bad breath by removing bacteria that can cause odour. 
  1. Rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash. A good mouthwash can reduce irritation and inflammation. Rinsing with mouthwash after brushing and flossing promotes a healthy smile and reduces your risk of developing gingivitis and other gum diseases. Select an alcohol-free mouthwash to avoid drying out your mouth.
  1. Maintain regular visits to your dentist every five to six months, as checkups allow your dentist to detect and treat problems before they become more serious. Professional cleanings prevent tartar buildup, whereas regular brushing and flossing cannot.
  1. Get a nightguard if you find yourself grinding or clenching your teeth while sleeping. This problem is known as bruxism, which often causes severe damage to your tooth enamel and leads to severe jaw pain and headaches. For the most part, this habit is created by stress and anxiety, so finding ways to manage these feelings to prevent bruxism is critical. 
  1. Wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth from damage during sports activities that may affect your mouth. Mouthguards help to absorb the impact of blows or falls that could otherwise cause chipped or broken teeth or cause cuts to your lips and tongue. Custom-fit mouthguards are available from your dentist for the most effective protection.
  1. Remove dentures at night to allow the gums to rest, and visit your dentist regularly for adjustments. Additionally, denture wearers should avoid hard and sticky foods that can damage or dislodge their dentures. Using a denture-care product to clean dentures daily and soaking them in a denture-cleansing liquid overnight is advisable. In the long run, proper care and maintenance of dentures prolong their longevity and the wearer’s oral health. 

Foods and Diet

  1. Digesting sugary and acidic foods and drinks can erode your tooth enamel over time, making your teeth more susceptible to decay and sensitivity. Limiting your consumption of these foods and drinks can help to protect your teeth and prevent these problems. Instead, select healthier alternatives such as water, milk, and fresh fruits and vegetables. 
  1. Drinking water is vital for good oral health because it washes away food particles and bacteria that can stick to your teeth and gums. Water also helps to stimulate saliva production, which can neutralize acids in your mouth. Ensure you drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially after meals and snacks. Choose to chew sugarless gums as an alternative to sweetened ones.
  1. Eating a balanced diet rich in calcium, vitamin D, and other nutrients is essential. These nutrients strengthen your tooth enamel, support healthy bone growth in your jaw, and reduce your risk of gum disease. Some foods that are particularly good for oral health include dairy products, leafy greens, nuts, and lean proteins.
  1. Quitting smoking and avoiding tobacco prevents staining your teeth and also decreases your risk of gum disease and oral cancer. 

Oral Cosmetics

The art of oral piercings carries many risks and potential complications. Oral piercings create an open wound in the mouth, which can quickly become infected if proper hygiene is not maintained. Bacteria and other foreign objects can enter the piercing site and cause an infection, leading to swelling, redness, pain, fever, and pus. 

In addition, piercings can damage taste buds or interfere with the normal flow of saliva, leading to a loss of taste or altered taste perception. If you’re considering this self-expression art form, discuss it with your dentist and weigh all the pros and cons before taking the risk.

In summary, caring for your teeth and gums is vital for maintaining good oral health and preventing dental problems. By incorporating the tips outlined above into your daily routine and visiting your dentist regularly, you can keep your smile healthy and bright for years. Remember, good oral health is an investment in your well-being, so prioritize it.

Shirley Graham | Staff Writer

Spring 2024

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