How to Take Care of Your Teeth Without Going to the Dentist
Oral health remains one of the most underappreciated aspects of general well-being. Many people have no idea that poor oral hygiene can cause respiratory, digestive and heart diseases. While your dentist may have cleared you during your last visit, a healthy smile takes a lifetime of impeccable oral hygiene, at-home dental care and regular clinic visits to achieve and maintain.
It is not enough to claim to prioritize your oral health like 83% of other Americans — you must take the necessary steps to increase your chances of having a disability-free life. The 2019 Global Burden of Disease study shows that 3.5 billion people suffer from oral diseases worldwide.
Permanent tooth decay being the most common and avoidable dental disease out there should give you a new perspective on how important your oral hygiene routine is to ensure optimum dental health at all times.
Use these six teeth care tips at home to keep yours in good shape in between regular visits to the dentist.
1. Floss Regularly
Food often finds its way into tight corners and spaces between teeth that your regular toothbrush can’t reach. If the remnants are left alone for a long time, bacteria act on them and cause tooth decay — especially if the foods are sugary. Flossing your teeth and using other oral care products at least once a day reduces the chances of leftovers clinging to your teeth and causing toothaches.
Studies have also shown that regular flossing can reduce plaque, stimulate your gums and lessen local inflammation. Use a piece of floss long enough for every tooth to get a new floss area so that you don’t move bacteria from infected to healthy teeth. The recommended length is 18 inches. While many think flossing can be tiring, it isn’t. You can teach kids how to floss in fun ways.
2. Drink Enough Water
Regular water intake is an underrated oral care tip by many people. Drinking water rinses leftovers in your mouth, makes flossing easier to accomplish and reduces mouth odor. You don’t have to stay without brushing for a long time to have bad breath; dry mouth causes the mouth to be more acidic than necessary.
Taking mouthfuls of water lowers the acidity level and helps with saliva production. You can take it a step further by taking fluoride water. They make your enamel stronger and provide a protective coat around your teeth, making them more decay-resistant.
3. Brush Regularly
Teeth brushing is the most practiced at-home dental care. You may think its popularity means it is done correctly, but oftentimes, it isn’t. Many people hurriedly brush their teeth or treat it as the last activity before leaving home. To fully reap the benefits of teeth brushing, it is advised to clean your teeth for at least two minutes twice daily. Adopt the most convenient timing technique possible, put on your favorite song or set your phone’s stopwatch to two minutes.
Angle your brush at 45 degrees and push in slow circular motions over the teeth’ outer, inner and grinding surfaces. Taking time to clean your teeth reduces the chances of plaque buildup and gum inflammation. Don’t forget to pay attention to your tongue and the roof of your mouth, or you’ll risk having bad breath.
4. Use a Clean Toothbrush
A poorly cleaned toothbrush is a bacteria culture waiting to be introduced to your teeth and gums. This is why cleaning your toothbrush is just as important as morning and evening toothbrushing exercises. Rinse your toothbrush with clean running water after brushing and store it in a holder.
Storing your toothbrush in a closed container is counterproductive to cleaning your brush because molds and other microbes do well in humid conditions. The American Dental Association recommends changing your toothbrush every three months or as soon as you notice its bristles wearing out, whichever comes first.
5. Avoid Sugary Foods
Certain food substances make your goal of having a flawless smile less achievable. The frequent intake of sugary foods creates a bacteria-loving environment. Bacteria are known to act on sugars and convert them into acid, causing plaque formation, deposition and teeth weakening.
Whenever you take sugary foods, rinse your mouth with water, mouthwash or brush your teeth right after. While water and mouthwash rinse the spaces between teeth and flush out sugary remnants, toothbrushes are better at removing stubborn plaques and coloring deposits.
6. Adopt a Teeth-Friendly Diet
Diet is one of the least talked about teeth care tips. Maybe most people are unaware of how diet can improve their oral health. Foods rich in calcium, phosphorus and vitamin C are essential if you desire optimum teeth health. Calcium hardens the enamel, phosphorus helps the body to absorb calcium better, and vitamin C strengthens your gums and solidifies your teeth placement. Eat green leafy vegetables, almonds, carrots, fish and eggs. Find a more comprehensive list of vitamins and food healthy for your teeth here.
Visit Great Lakes Dental Today to Help Maintain a Healthy Smile
Optimal dental health requires the combined effort of the dentist and patient; routine dental checks help you detect mouth diseases and your home dental practices determine the outcome. Need more tips for healthy teeth and gums? At Great Lakes Dental, our Advanced Smile Professionals provide comprehensive preventive and remedial dental care for our patients to maintain a healthy smile. Call us at (440) 597-3338 to schedule an appointment today.