Regular dental checkups and proper oral hygiene at home are key to maintaining a healthy smile. However, many patients aren’t sure exactly what they should and shouldn’t be doing when it comes to caring for their teeth. We’re here to provide some helpful dental do’s and don’ts.
Do brush your teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste.
Brushing removes plaque buildup and food debris that can lead to cavities and gum disease. You should make sure to brush your teeth for at least two minutes each time. Also, you should aim the bristles at your gums. Gently clean all surfaces of your teeth. The most ideal schedule is to brush your teeth in the morning and at night.
Don’t brush too hard.
Applying excess pressure can actually damage tooth enamel and irritate gums. Let the bristles do the work. Use a soft or extra-soft bristled toothbrush and brush with short, gentle strokes. Electric toothbrushes are also a great option for thorough cleaning without being harsh.
Do floss every day.
You’ve probably been told this what feels like a million times. However, flossing really does get rid of the plaque and food particles between teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach. Simply use about 18 inches of floss, winding it around middle fingers and interdental spaces. Gently glide it between teeth with a rubbing motion. Regular flossing prevents plaque buildup and reduces inflammation.
Don’t avoid dental cleanings and checkups.
Visiting your dentist every 6 months allows them to catch problems early. Professional cleanings remove stubborn tartar that daily brushing and flossing at home doesn’t tackle. Your dentist can also check for cavities, examine your gums, and screen for oral cancer during routine exams. Preventive care saves teeth!
Do watch what you eat and drink.
Sugary or acidic foods and beverages can cause damage to tooth enamel over time. Sip water instead of soda and limit sweets to mealtimes only. If you chew gum, try to opt for sugar-free varieties. Be mindful of tooth-staining foods like coffee, red wine, berries, and tomato sauce as well.
Don’t smoke or use other tobacco products.
Smoking increases your risk of gum disease, oral cancer, and tooth discoloration. The chemicals in tobacco products harm oral tissues. Nicotine causes dry mouth too, allowing bacteria to grow. For healthier teeth and gums, avoid smoking and tobacco altogether.
Do wear a custom nightguard if you grind your teeth.
Clenching and grinding, known as bruxism, can lead to cracked teeth, receding gums, and headaches. A comfortable nightguard protects your teeth from damage during sleep. Your dentist can fit you for one that’s uniquely molded to your bite.
Maintaining good oral health requires daily home care and regular dentist visits combined with following these simple dos and don’ts. Soon, you’ll be well on your way to a healthy and beautiful smile for years to come. Schedule a consultation with The Pampered Tooth today. Your teeth will thank you!