What should I be doing to improve my dental health?
Dr. K - What things should I be doing to improve my overall dental health?
Dr. K’s Response:
This is a great question. Sometimes we only visit a dentist when we get pain in the mouth. But there are many things you should be doing - proactively - to ensure good dental health.
Following are the top 10 things you should start doing today (if you’re not already) to practice good oral health…
The Dental Care Top-10:
Brush 2 x / day - If you’re not sure about the proper brushing technique, be sure to ask your dentist or dental hygienist for tips at your next visit.
Use fluoride toothpaste - When you brush, use a fluoride toothpaste, as it helps strengthen teeth and fight cavities.
Brush your tongue - Many people brush their teeth but forget to brush their tongue. Give your tongue a good brushing to get rid of germs and bacteria that can cause bad breath.
Floss every day - Flossing helps your gums and prevents cavities from developing between your teeth.
Refrain from smoking - Smoking can lead to gum disease and stained teeth (in addition to causing a myriad of other health problems). If you value your dental health and overall health, you should quit smoking immediately.
Refrain from drinking soda - When you drink soda, the sugars in it combine with the bacteria in your mouth to form acid, which attacks and weakens tooth enamel.
Limit your sugar intake - For the same reasons found in #6, you should limit your overall sugar intake. When sugar combines with bacteria to form acid, this causes decay (and cavities) after recurring attacks on your teeth.
Use the right tooth brush - Not all tooth brushes are created equal. Ask your dentist what type of brush will work best for you.
Visit your dentist and hygienist every six months - Regular check-ups / cleanings are an excellent way to stay on top of your oral health.
Use a mouthwash - While using a mouthwash is not a substitute for effective flossing and brushing, some will find that it helps control plaque, gingivitis, bad breath, and tooth decay.