With all the health advice available today online and on TV, it’s hard to know what’s actually important to preserving your oral health. The skilled and professional dentists at Valley Dental Health in Cockeysville, MD want to pass on to you the top 10 dental care tips so you can keep your mouth and body healthy for years to come.
1.Brush your teeth every day
You’ve been hearing this advice since you could hold a toothbrush: brush your teeth twice daily. Brushing removes leftover food particles that combine with bacteria, which when left on the teeth can cause cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease.
2. Flossing is as important as brushing
Your hygienist can tell when you haven’t been flossing! Flossing is just as important as brushing because it removes plaque from between teeth that your brush alone can’t reach. If plaque remains in these hard-to-reach places, you could develop tartar and eventually gum disease, which has been linked to cardiovascular problems and Alzheimer’s.
3. Use toothpaste with fluoride
Fluoride is an important ingredient in toothpaste because it helps strengthen tooth enamel. It can reverse early signs of tooth decay such as weakened spots in the enamel or exposed roots that could eventually become cavities.
4. See your dentist twice a year
Regular dental exams are essential to preserving your oral health. Your dentist can spot early signs of tooth decay before they become severe, helping you avoid complex dental procedures. They will also perform X-rays to ensure your teeth are well-supported.
5. Limit sugar intake, including sugary drinks
Sugar contributes to tooth decay because the bacteria that live in our mouths feed on it and the leftover food particles on the teeth. Furthermore, if the food contains a high sugar content, the bacteria can multiply even faster and the rate of tooth decay will increase. Cutting back on the amount of sugar in your diet will help keep oral bacteria at bay.
6. Maintain a healthy diet
A healthy diet is important not just for overall health as most people know, but it also helps your teeth in ways you might not expect. In addition to providing your body good nutrition, a lot of fruits and vegetables are crunchy and chewy, which promotes saliva production in your mouth. Foods that require a lot of chewing are good for the teeth because more saliva means the mouth is naturally washed out more often, ridding it of potentially harmful bacteria.
7. Stay hydrated
Keeping hydrated helps your mouth produce enough saliva, which keeps teeth clean. Saliva washes out the mouth, which removes oral bacteria and leftover food particles.
8. Don’t forget your tongue
If your tongue has a white or yellow film on it, you should probably brush or scrape it (yes, they sell tongue scrapers). So when you brush your teeth, don’t forget to run your brush over your tongue to remove the foul-smelling bacteria on it that can cause bad breath.
9. Don’t chew on hard items
This may seem like common sense, but you should try not to bite down on hard candies or even non-food items like pen caps or fingernails as this can damage teeth.
10. Take care of your toothbrush
Your toothbrush doesn’t need any special cleaning, but make sure it air dries after each use and is clean of leftover toothpaste.
The team at Valley Dental Health in Cockeysville, MD is here to help you maintain your oral health. Contact us online or call (410) 803-5587 to schedule an appointment today to keep your smile healthy!