Good dental care habits start when you’re young (as early as when that first tooth breaks through). It’s important to take care of each tooth from the inside out. Not only can this keep your teeth in good condition, but it can also support your general oral health.
Want to learn the basic ways to take care of your teeth (and gums) at home? We’ve got you covered.
Dental Care Tips: Top 10 Ways to Take Care of Your Teeth
#1: Brush teeth twice daily.
The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests brushing your pearly whites twice each day (morning and night) for two minutes. Any toothbrush will do the job. We recommend soft brushes.
#2: Use a fluoride toothpaste.
Dentists recommend fluoride toothpaste that features the ADA Seal of Acceptance for all ages- infants included. Fluoride deters cavities and helps in the battle against tooth decay, which can happen even in kids. A rice-sized amount is plenty for little ones below age 3. You can increase that to pea size after age 3.
#3: Brush thoroughly.
When you brush, you want to be thorough but not rough on your teeth or gums. Be sure to clean all parts of the teeth (back, front, sides, and top) with your toothbrush facing your gums at about 45 degrees.
#4: Limit acidic drinks.
While acidic drinks are tasty, it’s best to steer clear or at least cut down on them to prevent discomfort or wearing away at your enamel. This includes soft drinks, coffee, cordials, and fruit juice. If you’d like to enjoy one from time to time, that is okay. (Balance, right?) The ADA simply recommends utilizing a straw and swishing water in your mouth after to break down the acids.
#5: Floss daily.
Making time to floss your teeth once per day is necessary to fight against cavities and gum disease. Not only can floss get rid of plaque (which creates cavities), but it also gets rid of any food particles lingering from the day (which can cause bad breath and more).
#6: Only use your teeth to chew food.
If you need to open a package and don’t have scissors on hand, it might be tempting to use your teeth. However, teeth are for chewing and breaking down food only. Using them for other things increases your chance of injury.
#7: Protect your teeth from injury.
Injury is especially common if you’re an athlete. Always use a mouthguard when playing contact sports to decrease the chance of something happening to your teeth. Another way to prevent injury is never to insert objects in your mouth to clean your teeth, which can do more harm than good.
#8: Limit sugary food.
We all love a good dessert. However, moderation is key to prevent damaging your teeth as sweets excrete acids which break down your enamel and contribute to tooth decay. If you choose to indulge in a sweet or two, have it alongside lunch or dinner. Your mouth has more saliva when eating full meals, and saliva can break down the acids and clear out remaining food from your mouth.
#9: Don’t forget tongue scraping.
A toothbrush will clean your teeth, tongue, and mouth. However, if you’d like a little extra cleaning power, consider a tongue scraper. You’ll want to begin at the back part of your tongue and gently bring the scraper toward the front.
#10: See your dentist for regular check-ups.
We recommend having a dental appointment every six months to keep your oral health in tip-top shape. Dentists will clean your teeth, check for cavities, advise you on oral care best practices (such as the proper brushing and flossing techniques), and more.
Many of our patients ask us for tips for healthy teeth and gums. While every dentist’s dental care tips may vary slightly, the general ways to take care of your teeth remain the same:
- Brush your teeth, and don’t forget to floss regularly.
- Make smart eating choices, limiting sugar and acidic food consumption.
- See a dentist twice per year.
Not only can these suggestions promote your oral health, but they can also keep your smile healthy and bright.
Are you coming up on your next dental appointment? West Richland Family Dental is currently accepting new patients. Call us today to schedule your first exam. You’ll be well on your way to a renewed, lasting smile.