Last Updated on August 23, 2023 by Jade Roberts
Proper dental care can help to keep your smile at its best. Of course we know that brushing and flossing regularly is the basis of this dental care plan, but there are other things that you should also take into consideration to prevent tooth decay, including what you eat and which type of toothbrush to use.
People who take a few extra steps in relation to their oral hygiene can look forward to years of trouble free oral health.
What You Eat Affects Dental Health
If you are trying to reduce the risk of cavities, then you should consider consuming as little sugar and starch as possible. Foods high in sugar and starch provide nourishment for bacteria that can harm teeth. Avoid snacking often, as well as snacking on foods that are sticky or that get stuck in-between teeth. These foods can remain in place and increase the risk of cavities. The longer that food remains on the teeth, the greater the risk of oral decay.
If you do have a snack, one of the quickest and easiest things to do is to wash your mouth out with water. This helps to reduce the acid in your mouth, and swirling the water also dislodges some of the food particles stuck between teeth. Of course this is not as effective as brushing and flossing, but is much more convenient and easy to do after every meal or snack.
Using Tartar Fighting Toothpastes
Tartar can form when plaque if not properly removed from teeth and is left to harden. This can lead to an increase in the risk of developing gum disease and tooth decay.
Those using tartar-fighting toothpaste should wash their faces after using the toothpaste as for some people it can lead to blemishes around the mouth. Also, tartar-fighting toothpastes can affect sensitive teeth. Should you have sensitive teeth you can use a toothpaste that is specially designed to reduce sensitivity. However, the sensitivity-formulated toothpastes can take a few weeks to take effect. Also, you should not brush too hard since you can brush the enamel off of the teeth.
Electric Toothbrushes Are Often Better
Electric toothbrushes score higher than manual as they can often be better at reaching hard-to-clean areas such as the gum line and the backs of the molars. Some electric toothbrushes also prevent you from brushing too hard by having a built-in sensor that automatically switches off the toothbrush if you apply too much pressure. Many electric toothbrushes also come with built-in timers to control how long you brush.
Flossing Is Also Important
You should not skip over flossing, even if you think you are giving your teeth the best brushing they can get. However, flossing is equal to brushing in importance. Flossing can remove plaque, bacteria and food debris that a toothbrush cannot reach. You should floss at least once a day and ideally after every meal.
There are a variety of options for flossing your teeth. You can use the old fashioned dental floss. Use about 18 inches of dental floss and use gentle stroking movements as floss can easily cut gums. However there are other flosser options that can make it a bit easier to get to teeth, especially at the back of the mouth. These flossing forks have a handle with heads either in-line with the handle or at 90 degrees to the handle, which allows easier access without having to wrap the floss around your fingers.
The Bottom Line
Oral hygiene is a window to your overall health. Being vigilant with your oral health at home is one things, but you should see a dentist regularly to identify warning signs of long-term oral decay that may require replacing teeth with false teeth and to also identify conditions such as oral cancer.
Even if you were not born with a perfect smile, thanks to modern cosmetic dentistry, any imperfections can be fixed to give you the smile you want. If you take care of your teeth you will be able to keep that smile for many years. Routine care includes brushing and flossing, but additional visits to a dentist will provide you professional help in identifying possible issues and signs of potential risks to your oral health.