There are many good reasons to keep your dental health up to scratch. Of course, having a sparkling smile is one of them! But we also need healthy teeth and gums to eat and speak.
Poor dental health often leads to pain and discomfort. And it goes beyond gum disease and tooth decay in your mouth. Research has identified that our oral health and overall health are associated.
At Hills Dental Care, we know the importance of preventive dentistry. In this article, we’ll be sharing with you the steps to healthy teeth for life.
8 Steps to Healthy Teeth
Neglecting your dental health can result in major problems down the track. You can minimise and prevent these problems by observing a good dental care routine.
To keep your teeth strong and healthy for life, follow this list of simple steps below.
Brush Twice A Day
It’s a known fact that we need to brush our teeth to maintain good dental hygiene. But, brushing only does its job if done correctly. Using a hard-bristled toothbrush and applying excessive force damages our teeth enamel and our gums.
Brush twice a day with a soft to medium bristled brush. To effectively remove plaque and bacteria, use small circular motions. Brush the top, back and front of each of your teeth. This process takes about 2 minutes.
Not brushing enough will lead to tooth decay. But, brushing too much or too hard will lead to thinning of enamel, gum erosion and sensitivity. So, you need to find the twice a day, soft brush, sweet spot!
It’s also important to regularly change your toothbrush. Aim to change your toothbrush every 8 to 10 weeks or when the bristles are starting to look ‘well-used’.
Use a Fluoride Based Toothpaste
Fluoride originates from the earth’s soil, in an element called fluorine. Fluoride is commonly found in toothpaste and mouthwashes. This is due to its reputation of preventing tooth decay. Yet, there are dental products consisting of no fluoride. And some people choose to not use fluoride at all.
Evidence has shown that despite following a good dental health routine, lack of fluoride results in tooth decay. Brushing and flossing are less effective without fluoride present in the mouth.
Many communities around the world (including Australia) add fluoride to their water supply. This is recommended by several organisations, including the World Health Organisation.
There is a famous question that gets asked in every dentist’s chair around the world, and that is – “So, how often do you floss?”. Most of us are guilty of not flossing enough… or at all. Whilst flossing may seem like a mundane task, its benefits outweigh its disadvantages.
Yes, it takes a few moments of your morning or night each day, that you won’t get back. But, not flossing might take a few of your teeth and you don’t get them back either!
Flossing removes the plaque and bacteria from between the teeth and under the gumline where your toothbrush can’t reach. The bits and pieces that get stuck between our teeth (and stay there) are what promote tooth decay and bad breath.
Flossing plays a major role in our gum health too. At Hills Dental Care, we recommend that you floss once a day. Start down in the gum line and then go up and around the side of each of your teeth.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Regular dental check-ups are key to maintaining healthy teeth for life. We recommend you schedule a visit every 6 months. Though this may vary depending on your health, age and dental history.
Visiting your dentist is a vital part of preventative dentistry. It helps identify any problems early. This results in quick fixes and saves a lot of money and discomfort later.
During your check-ups, your dentist will check your mouth for signs of tooth decay, gum disease and other dental health issues. It is important to have an X-ray every now and then. This helps your dentist check for tooth decay that isn’t visible on the outside of your teeth.
Having a ‘clean and scale’ is a very effective way to clean your teeth. It gets rid of plaque and removes tartar that is too stubborn for your toothbrush!
For one, smoking causes bad breath. But it also creates a lot of other serious health complications.
Whether you smoke it or chew it, it contributes significantly to oral tissue damage. Tobacco both stains your mouth and weakens your teeth. It also puts you at major risk of gum disease, and worse, oral cancer.
Smokers experience longer recovery periods after any major dental surgeries or procedures. Smoking does damage to our immune systems. This hinders our tissue’s ability to heal.
Whilst using mouthwash doesn’t replace brushing or flossing, it does complement these processes. Studies have shown that mouthwashes benefit oral hygiene. A lot of them contain antibacterial ingredients. These ingredients assist in the control of plaque and gingivitis.
If you’re feeling unsure which is the right one for you, speak to your dentist at your next check-up.
Limit Sugar Intake
Sugar has adverse effects on our dental health, there is no denying it!
The sugar found in so many sweets and desserts, but also in most processed foods, causes cavities. The sugar that lingers in the inside of our mouth is the favourite meal of acid-producing bacteria. It’s this acid that leads to tooth decay.
Whilst we’re not suggesting you cut out sugar altogether, a good idea is to limit your intake to a healthy level.
Eat A Well-Balanced Diet
Our general health and well-being rely a lot on the food we consume. This is especially true for our mouths! Our teeth need brushing and flossing for a healthy outside. And nutrients from a good diet for a healthy inside.
We have already discussed the ill-effects sugar has on our teeth, but it’s not just sugar. Studies have shown that complex carbohydrates such as white bread and rice also cause tooth decay.
To consume enough of the right vitamins and minerals, a varied diet consisting of clean whole foods is best. Enjoy sugary and starchy treats in moderation and make water your primary beverage!
Putting these above steps into practice will get you well on your way to sustainable dental health. If you keep up your dental health routine at home and visit your dentist, you can achieve healthy teeth for life.
Kids especially benefit from preventive dentistry. The ongoing care allows for healthy teeth and for them to develop good dental health habits early on.
As mentioned, the health of your mouth is associated with your overall health. Our mouth’s do make for an ideal breeding ground for disease. So, keeping your mouth clean and healthy is vital to your well-being.
When was the last time you saw the dentist? If you’d like to book in a check-up with one of our gentle, friendly experts to help keep your teeth healthy for life, contact us!