Most people are aware that dental hygiene is important. Poor dental practices can lead to painful toothaches, cavities, gum disease and many other unpleasant, uncomfortable and expensive conditions. It can even affect your children’s academic performance. However, what many people don’t realize is that good dental health comes from so much more than just brushing your teeth. So, how do you keep yourself from ending up in that dentist’s chair?
Good dental hygiene is actually a combination of different practices and tips to keep your teeth, tongue and gums in tip-top shape. Check out our five simple steps that you can take to improve your dental health, starting today.
1. Stick to Your Routine
Ever since we were kids, it’s been drilled into us over and over again that we need to brush and floss our teeth at least two times a day. However, it’s probably pretty unlikely that the average person is really following that routine.
It’s imperative that you drop the bad habits and start sticking to a good, basic dental hygiene routine. This means brushing your teeth for two minutes in the morning and in the evening, following up with floss and rinsing with mouthwash. This is going to keep food and bacteria from hanging out in your mouth and causing bad breath, disease and more.
2. Use a Fluoridated Toothpaste
One of the easiest ways to accrue dental health issues is by allowing your teeth to weaken. Teeth are subject to decay, but by investing in fluoride toothpaste, your mouth will have the tools it needs to fight off the germs that cause decay. By buying toothpaste that contains fluoride, you’re doing so much more for your mouth without really having to change much in your routine.
Most toothpaste already contains fluoride, but many companies have released flavors without fluoride in an attempt to appear more “natural.” Fluoride has been proven over and over again to boost oral health; it’s wise not to skip it.
3. Don’t Forget About Your Tongue
If you haven’t started brushing your tongue, you’re going to want to start now. Plaque builds up on the surface of your tongue throughout the day and night, and it’s essential to get rid of it when maintaining your dental health.
Many toothbrushes have a tongue brushing feature built onto the backside of the toothbrush. You can also buy a tongue scraper. By removing this plaque, you’ll be getting rid of bad breath and staving off many other oral health issues.
4. Stay Hydrated
Water is an essential part of staying healthy in all different areas of your body. People recommend drinking water to help with skin issues, fatigue, digestion issues, mental clarity and so much more. Did you know that water is also important in maintaining dental health? By staying hydrated throughout the day, you’re preventing dry mouth and helping food and other debris not get stuck in your teeth and gums. It can even cancel out some of the harsh effects of acidic foods on your teeth.
By switching a soda, tea or other sugary drink for water, you’re also cutting down on your chance of cavities. Even replacing just one of these drinks at lunch or dinner will make a big difference in your overall oral health.
5. Visit the Dentist Regularly
Nothing is more important than visiting the experts. Even if you feel like everything is going great with your dental hygiene, it’s imperative to see your dentist at least once, if not twice, a year.
Your dentist should perform regular cleanings and x-rays during your visits, and they should talk to you about any issues you might be having. If you feel like something is wrong with your teeth, mouth or gums, schedule an appointment with your dentist. Don’t wait to have it looked at; that’s how you get a lifetime of dental problems. By talking to the right dentist and following their advice, your dental health should stay in tip-top shape.