Your smile is one of the first things that people notice, and decayed or missing teeth can affect your smile significantly. You only get one set of adult teeth, so it’s best to care for them regularly to maintain oral health. Poor oral health can result in tooth decay and gum disease, resulting in missing teeth. There are a few ways to care for your teeth to ensure they last as long as possible and keep your smile looking great.
Brush Your Teeth
According to the American Dental Association, brushing your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush is essential. Some people brush after every meal for extra protection. You should replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if the bristles are frayed. Many dentists recommend electric toothbrushes because they’re more effective than manual toothbrushes. If your electric toothbrush has a replaceable head, it should be replaced every three to four months or when the bristles become frayed.
There are many toothpaste brands and types on the market, and you should only buy toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association. There are several types of toothpaste on the market, such as whitening toothpaste, toothpaste to reduce sensitivity, and one that promotes healthy gums.
Flossing every day is essential to your gum health. The floss removes tartar and plaque between the teeth and the gum line that the toothbrush may not reach. According to the University of Illinois Chicago College of Dentistry, there are a few other reasons to floss regularly.
- Better removal of harmful breath-causing bacteria than brushing alone
- Reduce the risk of cavities
- Reduce the risk of soreness, puffy, and redness of the gums.
- Prevent gingivitis, which can progress to gum disease.
Neglecting to floss can significantly impact your gum health, increasing the risk of losing one or more teeth. It’s best to floss at night before bed, and there are plenty of types of floss to choose from.
- Waxed, unwaxed, or flavored floss string
- Floss picks, which make flossing easier
- Super floss is designed for people with braces, bridges, or gaps between the teeth
- Air flosser that uses air pressure to force out the debris between the teeth
- Water flossers use water pressure to force the debris from between the teeth
Visit the Dentist Regularly
You need to see a dentist every six months to keep your teeth healthy. The dental hygienist will clean your teeth during each visit, which is more effective than daily brushing. They will start with a physical exam of your mouth to check for gum disease and any potential issues. Next, the hygienist will remove any plaque or tartar at the gum line and between your teeth and then use a gritty toothpaste to scour the teeth.
The dentist will order x-rays once a year to check for cavities or any other issues that can affect the health of your teeth and gums to begin treatment before permanent damage occurs. For example, if you have a cavity, it can be filled to prevent further damage that could require a root canal.
Oral hygiene is essential in keeping your teeth healthy and your smile looking great. Taking care of your teeth now is best to avoid tooth loss, requiring a bridge or dental implants. Also, proper oral hygiene makes it possible to keep your natural teeth longer.