Health advice seems to change all the time, and it’s hard to know what’s actually good information and what to skip. Valley Dental Health is a Cockeysville, MD digital dental practice dedicated to helping you achieve optimal oral health. Learn our top 10 dental care tips to keep your smile healthy.
1. Brush your teeth every day
Brushing your teeth every day is the single most effective way to prevent cavities and tooth decay. Oral bacteria feed from leftover food particles, mucus, and other microscopic particles on the teeth to form plaque, which causes cavities. Brushing twice a day is an easy way to prevent plaque from damaging teeth.
2. Flossing is as important as brushing
Although brushing your teeth is an easy way to remove plaque, it doesn’t remove all of it. Flossing removes the remaining 30-40% of plaque from your teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach. In addition to cavities, plaque causes gum disease, which is linked to tooth loss, cardiovascular problems, and Alzheimer’s.
3. Use a fluoride toothpaste
Fluoride is essential to preventing cavities because it helps strengthen tooth enamel and reverses early signs of tooth decay. In addition to fluoride from tap water, you can strengthen teeth by using a toothpaste containing fluoride.
4. Limit sugar intake, including sugary drinks
Oral bacteria replicate quickly when they have access to an easy food supply like sugar. Reducing the amount of sugar in your diet, to include beverages, helps keep oral bacteria at bay.
5. See your dentist twice a year
Dentists are highly trained to spot early signs of tooth decay before they develop into serious problems. Regular cleanings and exams will help you preserve your oral health and identify issues before they become major procedures.
6. Maintain a healthy diet
In addition to the good nutrition from healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, these crunchy foods stimulate saliva production. Saliva helps wash the mouth and remove plaque from the teeth, so foods that require lots of chewing are good for both your body and your teeth.
7. Stay hydrated
Drinking a lot of water offers several benefits to your health, just like a healthy diet, but it also contributes to saliva production. When your body is well hydrated, it’s better at producing saliva and therefore removing oral bacteria.
8. Brush or scrape your tongue
Your tongue can build up oral bacteria just like teeth. If you see a white or yellow film on your tongue, you might be forgetting to brush it. Run the toothbrush or a tongue scraper over your tongue to remove foul-smelling bacteria that can cause bad breath.
9. Don’t chew on hard items
This may go without saying, but try not to bite down on hard candies or even non-food items like pen caps or fingernails. This can damage teeth.
10. Take care of your toothbrush
Your toothbrush doesn’t need any special cleaning, but make sure it dries after each use and there is no leftover toothpaste. Store it upright and exposed to air and your toothbrush will be good to go!
Valley Dental Health offers both routine dental care and cosmetic consultations to patients looking to optimize their oral health. You can schedule an appointment online or call our Cockeysville dentist office at (410) 803-5587.