Your smile is part of what makes you unique. It affects how others perceive you and, more importantly, how you perceive yourself. Here at Accent Smile Center in Dickson, TN, we want to help you maintain a healthy smile that makes you feel confident! Your oral health plays a crucial role in your overall health. You can do a few things between your regular dental visits to keep your teeth in the best condition. Keep reading for our top nine tips for healthy teeth!
Clean between your teeth
Plaque is a sticky film that contains bacteria that feeds on the excess sugar and food in your mouth. Over time this plaque hardens into tartar that gets stuck between your teeth and below your gum line. The acid produced by this plaque can erode your tooth’s enamel to create cavities and foster gum diseases like gingivitis. Combat this by regularly flossing between your teeth.
There are a variety of textures, flavors, and methods of floss, including string floss, dental picks, and interdental brushes. These tools can make it easier to reach the tight spaces and below the gum line. For a more thorough between the teeth and below the gum clean, a Waterpik is an oral pulsating irrigator that aims a strong stream of water precisely where you need to remove debris and other build-ups without effort or discomfort.
Don’t forget your tongue
It might be surprising to some to learn how important it is to brush your tongue, but it’s another common place where plaque can easily build up. This can lead to bad breath and other oral health problems. Tooth decay can occur due to rampant bacterial activity in your mouth, and removing as many sources from your mouth as possible can defend your mouth against oral disease.
Get an early start for kids
If you have children, it’s essential to teach them healthy smile habits as early as possible. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, children should see a dentist within six months of their first tooth erupting and no later than age one to establish a strong foundation for their dental care. Start teaching your child to brush their teeth at an early age, and ask any question you or they may have about their oral hygiene routine with their dentist.
Maintain a healthy diet
So much of your health is connected to your diet, both in your mouth and body. Proper nutrients can boost your teeth’s overall health, but eating certain foods can either help or harm your teeth’s enamel surfaces. Fresh fruits and vegetables can help remove plaque build-up as you bite into them and chew, and are more difficult for bacteria to break down since they don’t contain carbohydrates, fats, oils, and sugars. In contrast, consuming sugary foods feeds this bacteria that lead to gum disease, while acidic food and drinks can prematurely destroy your tooth’s protective enamel coating.
Use fluoride twice a day
Brushing your teeth twice a day is important because it exposes your teeth to the ingredient that makes toothpaste effective: fluoride. If the toothpaste you’re using does not contain this essential ingredient, you may not be protecting your teeth the way you should. Using fluoride in your oral hygiene routine while brushing can help strengthen your tooth’s enamel and prevent tooth decay. Take your time while brushing and move in gentle circular motions. Focus on each tooth to make sure you remove as much plaque and debris as possible without harming your gums.
Rinse your mouth after meals
We know it can be inconvenient to brush your teeth after every meal. However, it’s important to rinse the debris from your teeth and gums with some warm water or mouthwash after you eat. Mouthwash can help reduce the amount of acid in your mouth, reach deep between teeth where a toothpick can’t reach, and even remineralizes your teeth.
Don’t use tobacco
Smoking can cause many detriments to your overall health, including the health of your teeth and mouth. Tobacco use can cause bad breath and stain your teeth and tongue. It can cause slow healing from tooth extraction or other oral surgery and even make correcting some cosmetic dental concerns more difficult. Using tobacco products also significantly increases your risk of gum disease and oral cancers. And even on an aesthetic level, tobacco can stain your teeth and erode their appearance.
Avoid oral piercings/protect from impact
Body piercing is a popular way to express yourself. But before you get oral piercings on your tongue, lips, cheeks, or uvula, it’s important to consider how they can harm your tooth surfaces and overall oral health. The bacteria introduced can lead to infections and swelling in your mouth. The metal piercings can cause irreparable damage to your tooth surfaces and may interfere with getting clear images with X-rays and other dental imaging instruments.
Regular dental visits
There are many ways you can personally defend your teeth against plaque. However, your dentist is still an important player in keeping your mouth healthy. Seeing your dentist at Accent Smile Center for regular cleanings and checkups twice a year can maximize your protection and help spot potential issues before they become too severe.
Dr. Gatgens and Dr. Wilson have the tools and knowledge to detect cavities in the hardest-to-reach areas of your mouth and can give you a deep cleaning to clear any spots you may struggle to reach. When a dental emergency presents itself, make sure you schedule an appointment with your dentists as soon as possible. We can address many dental emergencies if you contact our office right away.
Keep your teeth in the best condition with Accent Smile Center
Our team at Accent Smile Center wants to help you get a healthy smile and maintain it for life! Dr. Gatgens and Dr. Wilson can help you get the smile of your dreams at any age, so don’t wait. To learn more about keeping your smile healthy and how our team of experts can help you, schedule an initial consultation in our Dickson office. We look forward to helping you along your dental journey!