Habits That Will Protect Your Teeth and Gums

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Image credit: istockphoto.com/portfolio/MarinaDemeshko

Our dental hygiene and oral health is an extremely important part of our well-being. After our baby teeth are gone, we only get one set, so we have to keep them in good condition!

To protect your teeth and gums as much as possible, you must begin by making a few changes. In this article, we will discuss some great habits that can help keep your smile healthy and radiant.

Want to learn more? Then let’s get started!

Regular Dental Check-Ups 

Not many enjoy visiting the dentist, but regular check-ups and cleanings play a critical role in maintaining good oral health. The right professionals will detect conditions before they become severe and can fix issues that may be causing you pain or discomfort. Visit your dentist at least twice a year, depending on your specific requirements. If you have concerns about crooked teeth, reach out to the experts at Edwards & Garrett Orthodontists to discuss their solutions.

Brushing Twice Daily

While brushing your teeth twice a day may be one of the most well-known habits, it’s easy to forget. Be sure to make it a part of your daily routine after breakfast and before you go to bed. Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush (that you replace regularly). Don’t forget to pay close attention to the gum line as it can also harbor bacteria. You want to get into all of those hard-to-reach places!

Flossing Daily

Flossing complements brushing by getting rid of food particles and plaque that may reside between teeth. That being said, it’s important to be careful, as over-flossing can cause damage to your gum tissue. To begin, take around 12-18 inches of floss and wrap it around your index and middle fingers. Gently guide the floss between the teeth and be sure to use a fresh section for each new area.

Using a Tongue Scraper

Alongside using floss and toothpaste, a tongue scraper can be a great addition to your daily routine. While it might look rather scary, it removes bacteria and debris that accumulate on your tongue, much like your teeth and gums. Remember to use light pressure and start scraping at the back of the tongue. This should be done two or three times and the scraper rinsed under warm water in between so that everything is removed. 

Eating a Balanced Diet

A proper diet not only benefits your general health but also your smile. Eating balanced meals with a wide range of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products can strengthen your teeth and assist with cleaning. While you might not want to hear it, it’s best to limit your intake of sugary and acidic foods such as candy and fizzy drinks too. These can break down tooth enamel and cause cavities. If you do indulge in a sweet treat, brush immediately after.

Maintaining Good Posture

It’s not commonly known, but there is a clear link between poor posture and dental conditions. Those who slouch or hunch may suffer from incorrect jaw alignment and are more likely to grind their teeth. Stand up straight and keep your shoulders back as much as possible. Various exercises can help with posture correction. The more you strengthen your core, the easier it will be for you to support yourself. 

Wearing a Mouthguard During Sports

If you regularly participate in contact sports or other physical activities, wearing a mouthguard can help prevent dental injuries. Covering the area reduces the risk of broken or knocked-out teeth as well as jaw fractures caused by impact. Just make sure that you spend time getting the right mouthguard. Your dentist should be able to point you in the right direction and ensure that it’s custom-fitted to protect both your teeth and gums.

Chewing Sugarless Gum

It might sound strange, but chewing sugarless gum actually benefits your teeth. The process stimulates saliva production which helps to neutralize acids and wash away bacteria throughout the day. Just make sure that the brand you are using contains Xylitol. This is a natural sweetener that helps freshen your breath without causing further problems. 

Reducing Stress

Stress takes a toll on our bodies in many different ways. When you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious you may find yourself grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw. While doing this occasionally won’t cause damage, frequent stress can damage your mouth over time and cause pain. Try to spend some time each day completing activities that are known to calm the mind.

A few examples include:

  • Deep breathing exercises
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Reading

If you find that your stress is not easing, reach out to a doctor for further advice. They can give you more information and support on managing your mental health.

Avoiding Tobacco Products

Smoking and using tobacco products is one of the worst things you can do for both your physical and oral health. They will stain your teeth, cause bad breath and increase the risk of gum disease, tooth loss, and oral cancer. While quitting can be difficult, it’s a great step towards improving your overall well-being. If you’re having trouble, speak to your local support group.

Drinking Plenty of Water

Lastly, alongside food, try your best to stay hydrated each day. Drinking water increases the production of saliva, which neutralizes harmful acids that cause damage. Water also helps to wash away food particles and sugars that can get stuck in your mouth. Aim to drink around 6-8 8-ounce glasses a day depending on your activity level. Bringing a water bottle wherever you go can help remind you to keep up your liquids.

Final Words

As you can see, adopting a few simple habits can go a long way in protecting your teeth and gums. By following the above, you can enhance your oral health and prevent certain conditions such as bad breath and tooth decay.  You will also avoid costly dental procedures and can enjoy a healthy smile for the years to come!




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