Everybody loves the fresh feeling they experience after going to the dentist for a teeth cleaning. But how do you maintain that feeling until your next visit? It’s not as difficult as you think. Follow these simple dental care habits to keep healthy and bright smile and oral health in great condition and be always mindful of your daily habits.
- Don’t go to bed without brushing your teeth. The general recommendation is to brush twice a day, but especially at night to remove germs and plaque that have accumulated throughout the day. Keep in mind to use proper brushing technique – it doesn’t matter the number of times you brush per day if you are not doing it properly! Observe your technique – are you brushing at a 45 degrees angle towards your gums as your dentist advised you? Are you using small, circular movements with your brush head? Are you taking 2 minutes to brush all surfaces of your teeth, including the back ones, as well as your tongue? Watch dental videos about proper technique or simply ask your dentist at your next visit. And don’t forget to use fluoridated toothpaste to help remineralize your enamel and make it stronger!
- Don’t let flossing difficulties stop you. It will be hard if you don’t practice daily like anything else you do! Simply keep in mind that the toothbrush bristles cannot enter those tight spaces in-between your teeth and therefore, this is where flossing plays a major role! By maintaining proper flossing technique, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy – this really is a way to stimulate your gums, reduce plaque, and keep inflammation at a low! Floss in front of a mirror to ensure you are doing it correctly, be gentle, and take it one tooth at a time.
- Consider using mouthwash. Firstly, don’t overdo it – it doesn’t clean your teeth but rather, alongside brushing and flossing, reduces the amount of acid in your mouth and helps to remineralize teeth. Ask your dentist for specific mouthwash recommendations for you.
- Don’t overdo it. Many people think that using a hard toothbrush or brushing aggressively will keep your teeth cleaner – this actually causes more damage in the long run! Aggressive brushing leads to more porous and sensitive teeth and receding gums – which is irreversible. Be gentle – it’s all in the technique and remember to use a soft toothbrush always.
- Drink more water and ditch soda and fruit juices. Drinking water after every meal can help wash out some of the sticky foods or acidic drinks on your teeth. Acids in certain drinks can soften tooth enamel, making them more porous and eventually yellower and more sensitive with time.
- Cut down on sugar. Bacteria in dental plaque change sugars into acids which eat away the tooth enamel, leading to cavities – enjoy your sweets but just be mindful of the frequency and quantity
- Quit smoking. The tar and nicotine in tobacco increases the risk of many diseases, including gum disease and tooth loss, and causes brownish stains to form on your teeth. This is not to mention the effects that smoking has on your overall health. You can always discuss with your dentist ways to reduce or stop smoking altogether for a healthier lifestyle.
- Chew sugar-free gum. It may be ideal to brush after every meal but not practical – you can simply rinse with water or chew sugar-free gum for a few minutes. This will stimulate saliva production and boost its antibacterial properties, rinsing out your mouth and reducing the risk of dental decay.
- Eat ‘detergent’ foods. While sugar and soda can negatively impact your teeth, there are foods that actually clean your teeth while you eat and help cut down plaque. Firm and crunchy foods, such as apples, celery, and popcorn are such examples. But remember, there is no substitute for brushing!
- Avoid using your teeth as tools. Teeth are meant for chewing and looking nice – do not use them as tools to rip open packaging, open bottles or crack nutshells – you risk chipping or breaking your teeth!
In addition to being mindful of the tips above, there are a few things you can do to make your teeth stay healthy, bright,white and radiant:
- Go on a “white-teeth” diet. Be aware of what you eat or drink – consumables such as coffee, tea, ketchup or soy sauce, contain dark pigments called chromogens, which attach to your white tooth enamel and create stains. Make it a habit to rinse with water after having anything ’colored’ – this way, you can reduce the contact time, clear your saliva, and keep your smile brighter.
- Brush with baking soda once or twice a week. By mixing a bit with water, you can form a paste which will help remove stains and whiten your teeth.
- Camouflage. If you wear lipstick, choose blue-toned reds or pinks – blue tones counteract yellow and make your smile appear brighter
Can I skip the dentist altogether then?
Since you know now how to better care for your teeth and gums, this still doesn’t eliminate the need to visit the dentist at least twice a year for a routine check-up and cleaning.
During your visit dentist will do the followings: examine your teeth and mouth, and provide you with a professional dental cleaning in order to remove the plaque and tartar build-up in those difficult-to-reach spots that have accumulated over time. Oral hygiene instructions will be reviewed and any questions you may have about your oral health will be addressed.
Remember, not prioritizing your dental hygiene can have pretty serious consequences. Poor oral care puts you at risk for tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss, and can have quite an impact on your overall health.
Complications of illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease have been associated with inadequate oral hygiene. Remember, early detection and treatment of problems with your teeth and gums and maintaining good daily oral care habits at home can ensure a lifetime of great oral health.
Do not hesitate to visit us, at True Smile Works dental clinic at Marsa Plaza, Dubai Festival City. I will be delighted to advise and help you to achieve as well as maintain a healthy and bright SMILE!
Article by By Dr. Layal Ksaybi
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