It has been said that every tooth in a man?s head is more valuable than a diamond, especially if they are gone. Protecting your teeth is as important as any aspect of your health and regular visits to the?dentist?are essential for taking care of your smile.
While lack of dental care can cause major problems, the good news is that the body is resilient, and practicing good oral hygiene can change the way you feel about your smile, improve your overall health and boost your self-confidence. Routine dental exams help your dentist discover and fix small dental issues before they become problematic.
Your smile depends on simple dental care habits, such as brushing and flossing. But are you using the right techniques? Follow these steps to protect your oral health.
Brush at least twice a day to keep the dental decay away.?Brush your teeth and gums twice a day for a minimum of two to three minutes. Put your timer on and don?t forget to floss twice a day to remove food particles and prevent plaque buildup between your teeth.
Using proper equipment makes a difference.?The?American Dental Association?recommends using a soft-bristled brush, the size and shape of which should fit your mouth comfortably, while allowing you to easily reach all areas. Your toothbrush should be replaced every three to four months or sooner if the bristles become frayed. Toothpaste comes in many flavors, but make sure it is ADA accepted and contains fluoride.
Just like golf, technique is everything.?To brush properly, your toothbrush should be placed at a 45-degree angle to the gums. Gently move the brush back and forth in short strokes, ensuring to brush the outer, inner and chewing surfaces of each tooth. Don?t forget to brush your tongue, which will remove bacteria and help keep your breath fresh.
Keep flossing.?A toothbrush can?t reach the tight spaces between teeth or under the gumline, so daily flossing is important for good oral health. When flossing, be gentle. Take it one tooth at a time.?Slide the floss into the space between your gum and tooth. Use the floss to gently rub the side of the tooth in an up-and-down motion. Unwind fresh floss as you progress through the rest of your teeth.
Don?t put off going to the dentist.?It?s wise to visit the dentist at least twice a year for checkups and cleanings. Your dentist may recommend additional appointments if you are at risk for periodontal disease or other complications. However, establishing a regular exam schedule with your dentist is the best defense against future dental problems.
You are what you eat.?Brushing and flossing are not the only keys to a healthy smile. What you put into your mouth also plays an important role in preventing tooth decay and gum disease. Your mouth is the initial point of contact with the nutrients you consume. Unhealthy foods can impact not only your overall health, but also that of your teeth and gums. In fact, if your nutrition is poor, the first signs often show up in your oral health.
When describing a friend, Benjamin Franklin once said, ?He laughs at everything. Why? Because he has good teeth.? Having a healthy smile doesn’t take a lot of effort, it just takes consistency. To learn more about having a great smile and great oral health,?contact?Dr. Ashley Mann, DDS.