How to keep your teeth healthy and your mouth feeling fresh

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Image credit: www.istockphoto.com/portfolio/AaronAmat

Taking care of your teeth.  It’s something that’s been ingrained in us since we were little kids trying to do anything but stand still and brush our teeth at bedtime.  Picture your mother in your ear saying, “Your teeth are yours for life so take care of them”.  Well, your mom isn’t wrong and the better care you take care of your teeth the healthier your mouth will be.

Keeping your teeth and mouth in great shape means a lifetime of care.  However, simply putting in the time or effort isn’t enough, and some tips are required to make sure you’re doing the best you can.  Also, even if you have great teeth now, it doesn’t mean you can slack in the care department otherwise you might end up with problems down the road that were easily preventable with some attention to detail now.

That’s why we’ve put together this article about the best ways to keep your teeth clean and your mouth healthy – straight from the minds of professional dentists everywhere.

Let’s get learning!

1. Never skip brushing your teeth

It’s pretty simple, you need to brush your teeth at least twice everyday.  Once in the morning and again before you go to sleep at night.  Brushing displaces food particles and gets rid of the plaque causing bacteria that builds up throughout the day.  It’s a good idea to brush after meals or at least rinse your mouth, just make sure you wait at least 15 minutes after you finish eating to brush otherwise you risk damaging your tooth enamel.

2. Learn how to brush your teeth properly

Brushing isn’t enough if you aren’t doing it properly.  In fact, if you brush wrong you could be doing serious damage to your enamel and your gums.  Choose a soft bristle toothbrush, use only light pressure and employ a circular motion that brushes your teeth and not your gums.  For more information about properly brushing your teeth – click here.

3. Choose a fluoride toothpaste

It’s easy to visit the pharmacy and choose a toothpaste based on it’s whitening and breath freshening capabilities.  That would be a mistake though, as what you really want in your toothpaste is some fluoride content.  Fluoride often gets a bad rap due to its effects on other health areas, but in the case of brushing your teeth, it’s a valuable tool in the fight against tooth decay and protecting your teeth.  So long as you don’t swallow it, a fluoride toothpaste will be just fine.

4. When you brush, clean your tongue as well

Bacteria and plaque don’t just build up on your teeth but all over the inside of your mouth.  One major area is on your tongue, which means that as you brush your teeth you should give your tongue the same treatment.  There are special tongue scrapers available to buy but using your toothbrush works great too.

5. Do not neglect flossing

Flossing your teeth is as important as brushing them – the two go hand in hand.  Floss can get into all the tight areas between your teeth where brushing can’t, which of course is where the majority of food particles get trapped.  Not only does flossing clean in between your teeth, but it also removes built up plaque and stimulates your gums to keep inflammation at bay in that area.

6. Follow up with mouthwash

You’ve brushed, and flossed, so add the last step in the trifecta of proper daily oral hygiene – a mouthwash.  Swishing this liquid around in your mouth (for a minute or so) reduces acid in the mouth, cleans difficult to reach areas, kills bacteria and even re-mineralizes teeth.  It’s a great tool to provide that whole mouth clean but consider opting for an alcohol-free mouthwash instead.

7. Get dental cleaning and checkups at least twice a year

Even the best at-home oral hygiene routine isn’t enough to keep plaque build-up and all the nasty things that go along with it at bay for long.  You need professional dental cleanings to make sure your mouth is clean and as bacteria free as it can be.  It’s also necessary to get bi-annual dental checkups to make sure no issues are present and to get care promptly if needed.

8. Watch your diet

A healthy mouth is important for a healthy body and vice versa.  That’s why you’ll really want to watch what you eat so that you can attain great overall health.  That means limiting acidic or sugary foods which are especially bad for your teeth.  Both of these work to erode tooth enamel which can lead to cavities, susceptibility to bacteria, periodontal disease, gum recession and of course tooth sensitivity.  If you do end up eating sugary or acidic foods, drink plenty of water after to flush out your mouth as best you can.

9. Choose fresh and crunchy vegetables and fruits

Fruits and veggies are great for your body – period.  They’re especially good for your teeth as well in that the crunchy nature acts like a sort of toothbrush as you eat.  They also contain healthy fibre and require your jaw/teeth to work harder to break them down.  Crunchy is definitely better than mushy when it comes to your oral health.

10. Drink lots of water

What’s the best thing you can drink for your body?  That’s right, you guessed it – water!  The average adult needs between two and three litres of water daily but many of us don’t get anywhere near that.  Water acts to keep out bodies hydrated and enables waste to be flushed out of the system.  Water also rinses bacteria out of our mouths and into our stomachs where the acid will make short work of it.  Especially if you’ve been eating acid or sugary foods – get to drinking water and save your teeth.

There are more ways that you can keep your teeth healthy and your mouth feeling fresh but incorporating these ten tips can pay large dividends to not only your oral, but also to your overall health.  For more information, contact your dentist and ask what you can do to keep your mouth healthy and happy.

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The content and the information in this website are for informational and educational purposes only, not as a medical manual. All readers are urged to consult with a physician before beginning or discontinuing use of any prescription drug or under taking any form of self-treatment. The information given here is designed to help you make informed decisions about your health. It is not intended as a substitute for any treatment that may have been prescribed by your doctor. If you are under treatment for any health problem, you should check with your doctor before trying any home remedies. If you are following any medication, take any herb, mineral, vitamin or other supplement only after consulting with your doctor. If you suspect that you have a medical problem, we urge you to seek competent medical help. The Health Benefits Times writers, publishers, authors, its representatives disclaim liability for any unfavorable effects causing directly or indirectly from articles and materials contained in this website www.healthbenefitstimes.com