Oral Health Care
On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your and your family’s oral health care? Excellent? Okay? Could be better?
Did you know oral health isn’t only about your mouth, but your overall well-being? Studies show that there is a link between gum disease and serious conditions including strokes, diabetes, heart disease, pancreatic cancer, and even Alzheimer’s disease.
Looking after your teeth now will stand you in good stead down the line, but it takes more than a quick brush in the morning and flossing once a week to keep your teeth and gums healthy. If you haven’t been giving your teeth the attention they need, the good news is that it is never too late to start. Our team has put together 9 of the most important things you can do to ensure a selfie-ready smile, no matter what your age.
1. Don’t be a stranger.
If you haven’t seen your dentist recently, you are not alone. Around 50 percent of people in the United States avoid these visits because of general neglect and dentophobia (yes, a fear of the dentist is a real thing), but we suggest you pop in twice a year. By doing so, you will nip any problems in the bud, saving you a lot of money and time down the line.
2. Don’t forget about toddlers with teeth.
Tooth decay and gum disease aren’t limited to adults. According to various reports, approximately 4 million toddlers have tooth decay. If you encourage good oral health care from a young age, your little one can avoid a lifetime of cavities and gum disease. As soon as your child turns one, they should visit their dentist for regular check-ups. Better late than never doesn’t apply to your toddler and their teeth.
3. Stop with the fizzy drinks.
When it comes to your teeth, drinks with sugar are without a doubt one of the roots of most evil. But did you know sugar-free sodas are just as bad? You see, it’s not just the sugar that is a concern. The citric acid and phosphoric acid in carbonated beverages soften the enamel on your teeth, leaving them susceptible to tooth decay and cavities.
4. Use mouthwash before bedtime.
You’re probably wondering why you need to use mouthwash before you jump into bed. After all, it’s not like you need fresh breath while you sleep, right? But we’re not talking about store-bought mouthwashes that help you hide bad breath. Mouthwash that is recommended by your dentist contains active ingredients that work to not only treat any oral issues you might have, but they also strengthen your teeth. Using a mouthwash is also the perfect solution for younger children and older adults who might struggle with brushing and flossing.
5. Make sure you are using the right toothbrush.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking toothbrushes with hard bristles are better for you. Ideally, you want soft bristles that are gentle on your teeth and gums. The technique is also important. You should use short, round movements, gently brushing each tooth between 10 and 15 times.
6. Out with the old, in with the new.
Unlike your favorite sleep shirt that you’ve had since you were 10, a toothbrush should be replaced every three months. However, if you have been sick, it is best to replace it sooner. This is because germs and bacteria hide in the bristles, leaving you susceptible to reinfection.
7. Don’t forget to brush your tongue.
One of the causes of bad breath or gingivitis is bacteria that has built up on your tongue. For optimum oral health, you should brush your tongue once a day, preferably with a tongue scraper or tongue brush. Tongue scrapers are made from flexible plastic and painlessly peels away the debris that builds up on your tongue.
8. Choose the right toothpaste for your needs.
Nowadays, there are hundreds of different kinds of toothpaste. For example, some toothpastes target specific issues such as reducing plaque, strengthening your teeth, helping with sensitivity, or keeping bad breath at bay. Check the ingredients to make sure you are using the right one for your needs. If you’re not sure what you’re reading, talk to your dentist about a toothpaste that will best meet your specific needs.
9. Kick the habit.
If you smoke, you need to kick the habit now. You know what it does to your lungs and throat.t is as bad for your oral health. Besides the tar and nicotine turning your teeth yellow, it also makes the perfect breeding environment for plaque and bacteria, which over time destroys the tissue and the bone.
And last but not least, the chemicals in cigarettes can cause mouth cancer. Oral cancer is a deadly disease that affects far too many people every year. Reduce your risk by kicking your nicotine habit to the curb.
Oral Health Partners
Are you ready to get your oral health on track? Dr. Monroe and the team here at Monroe Family Dentistry in Greenville, South Carolina, will advise you and your family on the best possible oral health regimen to suit your lifestyle, needs, and budget. Book your appointment today and say hello to a bright and healthy future.