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Beautiful smiles begin with healthy mouths and gums, so the importance of oral hygiene can’t be understated. A healthy mouth leads to whiter teeth, stronger gums, and fresher-smelling breath.
Whether you realize it or not, your dentist’s and hygienist’s advice for healthy gums and teeth can help you get the gorgeous smile you’ve been after. And, as a bonus, following these tips from dental professionals can make your next checkup go even more smoothly.
The Top 10 Pieces of Advice from your Dental Team
Read on for tips for healthy teeth and gums, as well as a beautiful smile —straight from the people who see more smiles than anyone else.
1. Brush Regularly and Properly
You’ve probably been told since you were a child: brush your teeth twice a day. This advice still holds true, and it’s one of the simplest and most important aspects of your oral hygiene.
Use a cavity-fighting toothpaste, preferably one with fluoride to help strengthen your teeth. Brush your teeth — and your whole mouth! — once in the morning and once at night.
But it’s not enough to just go through the motions; you must brush your teeth properly. When brushing your teeth, use gentle, circular motions on the surface of the teeth. Make sure to brush not only the fronts of the teeth, but all of the edges and the backs of the teeth as well.
And, don’t stop at your teeth. It’s also important to keep your tongue and inner cheeks clean — especially to fight off bad breath — so brush these as well.
2. Floss Daily
Daily flossing might be the most common advice that dentists give — and the most common advice that patients ignore. Flossing once or twice daily takes only a few minutes, but many people dread the chore anyway.
Flossing is important to remove food particles that have been stuck between your teeth, where even the best toothbrush can’t reach.
Regular flossing will prevent the buildup of plaque. When left to build up, plaque can cause unsightly yellow areas on the teeth, and can contribute to more severe problems such as gingivitis.
Prevent all of this and promote your oral hygiene simply by flossing once or twice a day. It only takes a few minutes, and it’ll help keep your teeth clean and your gums strong.
3. Rinse with a Fluoride Mouthwash
Mouthwash is another simple addition to your daily routine. But not all mouthwashes are created equal.
Opt for a mouthwash that contains fluoride, to clean and strengthen your teeth at the same time. Rinse with the mouthwash, according to the instructions on the bottle, once or twice daily. Bonus: regular mouthwash use can help keep your breath smelling fresh all the time.
4. Increase your Calcium Intake
The calcium in your body helps to build your bones — and your teeth — into stronger versions of themselves. If you are calcium deficient, this can have an effect on your teeth, making them weaker and more sensitive.
To combat this fate, increase your daily calcium intake. If you are really struggling to increase your intake, you can take a calcium supplement.
However, it’s always preferable to increase your intake naturally, by adding milk and other dairy products into your diet. If you are lactose-intolerant or vegan, you can still find calcium in many dairy substitute products.
5. Cut Out Tobacco
The effect of tobacco on the lungs is well-known, but people less often think of the effects on the teeth. Regular or even occasional tobacco use can permanently stain teeth, and can even eat away at the teeth.
Even if you don’t see this effect yet, regular tobacco use almost always evidences in the teeth at some point. To avoid this, cut tobacco out. Even if it takes you quite a while to fully cut tobacco out, it’ll be worth it in the long run — and your teeth will thank you.
6. Limit Coffee Intake
Excessive coffee intake can also stain the teeth, and the acid in the coffee can begin to eat at your teeth, as well.
It’s ideal to cut out coffee altogether, but this isn’t always immediately possible. Focus at least on cutting your coffee intake down to about one cup per day, so that your teeth aren’t stained or otherwise damaged by your intake.
7. Limit or Cut Out Carbonated Beverages
The carbonation found in sodas, beers, and sparkling waters can erode the surface of your teeth, especially with excessive intake. The carbonation is caused by carbon dioxide, which turns acidic in your mouth and can slowly eat away at your teeth.
Once the surface of your teeth begins to erode, there’s nothing you can do to reverse the process. You can, however, stop more erosion from taking place. Keep your teeth white and healthy by cutting out or severely limiting your intake of all carbonated beverages.
8. Have a Well-balanced Diet
A healthy mouth starts with a healthy body, and even the most meticulous oral hygiene routine can’t make up for a strong body. If your body is equipped with all of the nutrients that it needs, then it can spend its energy on taking care of your teeth and gums.
To promote overall healthy, eat a well-balanced diet including lots of fruits and veggies, as well as protein- and calcium-rich foods.
When aiming for a healthy diet, many people make the mistake of incorporating a lot of fruit juice, which can actually do more damage than good. Concentrated fruit juices often have high levels of acids, which can eat away at the teeth. They may also have added sugars,which aren’t good for the body or the mouth. Opt instead for whole fruits and veggies.
9. Be Physically Active
Along with a healthy diet, maintain a balanced exercise routine. When you are exercising regularly, your entire body is put in better balance, which can only mean good things for your oral health.
A healthy body can take care of itself, so make sure that your body is strong and toned by getting 30 to 60 minutes of exercise everyday.
10. Visit your Dentist Regularly
One of the most important aspects of oral hygiene is regular check-ups with your dentist and hygienist. These check-ups and cleanings can help you maintain your oral health by removing built-up plaque and by catching any problems before they become more severe.
Most oral health issues can be resolved relatively easy if they’re caught early, so it’s crucial that you visit your dentist at least once every six months. And, if you notice any pain or sensitivity in your mouth, then book an appointment with your dentist immediately.
Contact us for Better Dental Health
Getting a beautiful, healthy smile isn’t a guessing game — there are steps that you can take today to get a gorgoues smile that your dentist will be proud of. For optimal oral health, incorporate as many of these tips as possible into your daily routine, and you’ll begin to see results within a few days or weeks.
To get started on improving your oral health, schedule an appointment with the friendly staff at Bloor West Smiles today — your mouth will thank you tomorrow!