We all want to follow a healthy diet but how exactly do you achieve this? Good dental health involves taking a number of steps to ensure that your mouth stays on the right track. If you’re not sure of where to get started, these are the basic guidelines you can use to look after your smile.
Brush Your Teeth Regularly
This is probably the most important step that you can take to get a great smile every day. If you’re like many of us, you might not necessarily pay attention to how you brush. This task often becomes one of habit but you may not be paying attention to how closely you’re brushing and getting each tooth. Your technique makes a big difference though.
When brushing, make sure that you use a good quality toothpaste which you apply to the toothbrush. Start at the back of your mouth and begin brushing where your gum line starts. Holding the brush at a 45-degree angle, brush gently back and forth. Applying too much pressure can cause gums to recede so be thorough but gentle. Make sure that you brush the inside, outside, and chewing surfaces of the teeth.
It’s also a good idea to brush your tongue. Many people don’t do this but in addition to improving your breath, it will also help to get rid of excess bacteria in your mouth. After brushing, spit out any excess toothpaste. You can rinse your mouth out but it’s best to leave the toothpaste residue present if you can to give yourself some ongoing protection. Brush twice a day for the best results.
Flossing contributes to the health of your teeth by removing particles of food that may be stuck between teeth. No matter how well you brush, flossing is still highly recommended. Floss once a day with floss or use an interdental brush if you prefer. It’s a good idea to start flossing around the age of two when children start to have teeth side-by-side.
This is an area that most people skip. While not strictly necessary, mouthwash helps to clean any areas of the mouth that you simply don’t brush such as your cheeks and the roof of your mouth. It should usually round out your oral routine. Look for mouthwashes that are alcohol-free to avoid drying out your mouth. Using mouthwash once or twice a day is a good option.
Chew Gum After Meals
You may already chew gum to give yourself good breath after eating but did you know that it’s actually one of the best ways to get rid of food in your teeth after a meal? Look for a sugar-free gum that won’t contribute to tooth decay and brush a piece after you eat. This will help to remove any sticky food residue and most people enjoy that they have fresh breath as well.
Limit High-Sugar Foods and Drinks
Sugar-containing foods and drinks can be enjoyed in moderation but avoiding them is a good way to protect your teeth. Not only do they contribute to bacterial growth, but they’re also high in calories and may contribute to other health problems. The biggest offenders are foods that are high in added sugars such as sodas, candies, and desserts. Enjoy these in limited quantities if you’re going to have them.
Enjoy Foods With Contribute to a Healthy Smile
Just like some foods will contribute to cavity development, others actually do the opposite. Some foods help to build healthy teeth and gums while preventing tooth decay. Most diets contain some of these foods but this list will give you an idea of what you should be eating.
If you enjoy cheese, you’ll now have another reason to enjoy this tasty food. Some studies found that eating cheese raises the pH in people’s mouths which lowered their risk of tooth decay. Cheese is also a good source of protein and calcium which strengthens tooth enamel over time.
Similar to cheese, yogurt is both high in calcium and protein. It’s a great source for healthy teeth but also contains probiotics naturally. Probiotics benefit gums by adding good bacteria to your mouth and helping to crowd out bad bacteria which leads to tooth decay. If you want to add more yogurt to your diet, look for the plain kind without added sugar.
Leafy greens are probably on any number of healthy food lists for their multiple health benefits. They’re a rich source of vitamins and minerals which contributes to oral health. Options such as kale and spinach are especially beneficial. They’re high in calcium and contain the B-vitamin folic acid which may help to treat gum disease.
You may be avoiding sweet foods but don’t steer clear of apples! They’re a fruit that is high in fibre and water. Just eating an apple contributes to saliva production which will help to rinse away bacteria. It’s not the same as actually brushing but it’s a good way to enjoy a fresher mouth.
Similar to apples, carrots are full of fibre so eating them towards the end of a meal will contribute to saliva production. Add a few raw ones to a salad or enjoy them on their own.
Some people think that celery is bland and has those pesky strings but it actually acts somewhat like a toothbrush. It will work to scrape food particles from your teeth and is also a good source of Vitamins A and C. Fresh celery sticks are a great snack and you can enjoy them topped with cream cheese for a flavour boost.
Almonds, like dairy, are a good source of calcium and protein while being low in sugar naturally. Enjoy a serving as a healthy snack or add them to your dishes.
Schedule Regular Dental Visits
Although following a good routine at home will contribute to the health of your teeth, problems can occur over time. You should make sure that you have a dentist that will monitor your dental health. It’s much easier to prevent problems rather than fix them. Try to see your dentist at least once a year. If you have any specialised needs, your dentist can aid you in developing the best treatment plan to ensure good oral health.