Dental health is an important part of everyone's lives. We receive nourishment from food that must pass first through our mouths. A healthy mouth can mean a healthy person in many ways. However, every mouth is different. There is no exact set of rules that everyone can follow to get the same results. Depending on what food you eat, what medicine you take, what genes you were born with, and your oral hygiene, your mouth can very different from someone else's. This is why it is very difficult for some to take care of their mouth, while it may be very easy for you.
We probably all know of someone who brushes three times a day, flosses regularly, but still have cavities when they go to the dentist. You may be lucky enough that you only brush once a day and you always have a good checkup. Developing a routine that works for you is essential to your dental health. Here are five important tips that if followed, can result in great dental health.
1. Visit your dentist regularly. Depending on what problems you've experienced with your teeth in the past, 'regularly' can vary. You may need to see your dentist every three months or so if you have to have your plaque and tartar cleaned out in the case of periodontitis. If you've never experience dental issues you may only need to go in every 6 months for a preventive checkup and cleaning. Consult with your dentist while there about a proper routine for your situation. Your dentist should be able to tell you what is best for your mouth. After all, they do see every angle of it during a checkup.
Some problems that your dentist will take into consideration are medications, if you sleep with your mouth open, if you grind your teeth while sleeping, or experience any other sleep conditions, etc. If you're on medication, there's a chance that you experience dry-mouth. This condition affects your dental health very much. If you sleep with your mouth open, you're more likely to develop gingivitis. Many people have sleep conditions that only allow them to breathe through their mouth. All of these factors must be taken into consideration when forming a routine for your mouth. Your dentist can help you sort through all of these things and find a plan that works for you.
2. Your diet also has a great deal to do with how healthy your teeth are. Sugar in any form, including brown sugar and the natural sugars found in fruit and dairy products, is a tooth's worst enemy. Starchy foods are also suspect and should be ate only as part of a meal. Foods such as raisins and other dried fruits tend to stick to the teeth, enhancing the conditions for destructive acids. Hard candies, breath mints and cough drops also stay in the mouth longer than other foods. The more often you snack, the greater your risk for hosting enamel-destroying acids. If you tend to eat a lot of sweets, you obviously will need to take better care of your teeth than someone who does not.
Eating a healthy diet will help to ensure healthy teeth and gums. Some foods may actually help counter tooth decay. Research has shown that peanuts and aged cheddar, Swiss and Monterey Jack cheeses may actually inhibit or neutralize the pains that cause cavities. However, healthy teeth and gums depend very much on the types of foods you eat, how often and the length of time the foods remain in your mouth.
3. Between visits to your dentist, you should inspect your mouth. You are, or should be the expert on your mouth. You see it and deal with it on a regular basis. Stay aware of what is going on on order to take any steps to prevent problems. Be on the lookout for several things such as chipped teeth, sores or cuts on the gums or tongue, discoloration of the teeth or any type of pain. If any of these signs show up, you should consult your dentist to see what they recommend.
4. Brushing and flossing your teeth frequently is a must. Brushing three times a day is ideal, but two times is sufficient. You should also floss everyday.
Find a toothbrush that has the American Dental Association (ADA) stamp of approval (found on the package). It should also be labeled "soft" and have round-ended bristles, which means it's sturdy enough to clean teeth and stimulate gums, but not scour them. An electric toothbrush may help those who have difficulty brushing their teeth, although it's not proven to clean better than a regular toothbrush. Also, replace your toothbrush every two to three months to keep it in good shape to do its job.
As for floss, it is really a personal preference what you use, so long as you use it correctly and regularly. If you find floss difficult to work with, consider using a floss holder or specially designed pick.
5. Another good activity to engage in is using fluoride. Fluoride helps teeth retain calcium, which keeps them strong and slows the production of acids that attack teeth. This is great for your teeth and can be found in toothpastes and mouthwash. After brushing and flossing, use mouthwash to finish it off.
With these steps, you, too, can have great dental health.