Maintaining dental health is essential for overall health and well-being. Tooth decay, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is one of the most common chronic diseases in children and adults. It’s also one of the most preventable.
However, it is still challenging to maintain a healthy mouth for most people. Here are some more statistics on dental health from the CDC:
- Nearly one in four adults aged 20-64 have untreated tooth decay.
- One in five US children aged 2-5 has untreated tooth decay.
- More than two-thirds of adults aged 65 and older have lost all their teeth.
The bottom line is that taking care of your teeth is essential for overall health and appearance. A healthy smile can boost your self-confidence and help you make a great first impression. So be sure to take care of those pearly whites! Here are a few things to remember when maintaining good dental health.
Brush with Fluoride Toothpaste
Daily brushing is essential for good dental health. It removes plaque and bacteria buildup from teeth and gums and helps keep teeth clean and free from cavities. To be most effective, brush your teeth at least twice daily using fluoride toothpaste.
Fluoride is a mineral that helps prevent tooth decay. It strengthens teeth and makes them more resistant to plaque and bacteria. So if you want to keep your smile healthy and cavity-free, use toothpaste with fluoride.
When brushing, it is essential to have a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on your toothbrush. If you use too much, you may end up swallowing fluoride, which can be harmful. Eating large amounts of fluoride can lead to fluorosis, which causes white spots on teeth.
Use the Right Toothbrush
It’s essential to use the correct type of toothbrush for your needs. There are different types of toothbrushes available, so be sure to choose one that is best for you.
If you have sensitive gums, look for a toothbrush with soft bristles. Special toothbrushes are designed to reach those areas and clean them effectively if you have braces or other dental appliances.
Be sure to replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if the bristles fray. A worn-out toothbrush won’t clean your teeth as effectively and can damage your gums.
Brush with the Right Technique
Brushing your teeth is not enough—you must do it correctly. Use gentle circular motions, and be sure to reach all surfaces of your teeth, including the backs of your molars. Many tend to overbrush, which can be just as harmful as not brushing enough.
Be sure to brush for two minutes twice a day. If you’re not sure you’re brushing long enough, set a timer or play a two-minute song to help you keep track.
Don’t forget to brush your tongue! Bacteria can build up on your tongue and lead to bad breath. Use a tongue scraper or toothbrush with a tongue cleaner to remove bacteria and keep your mouth smelling fresh.
Flossing is just as important as brushing and should be done at least once daily. It removes plaque and bacteria from areas your toothbrush can’t reach, such as in between teeth.
If you don’t floss, those missed areas will eventually become cavities. So be sure to add flossing to your daily oral care routine.
It’s essential to use the correct technique when flossing. Gently insert the floss between your teeth and move it up and down in a sawing motion. Be careful not to snap the floss into your gums—this can irritate them.
However, some people find traditional floss hard to use. If that’s the case, other options are available, such as floss picks and water flossers.
Visit the Dentist Regularly
Even if you brush and floss regularly, you must see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. They can remove tartar buildup and check for any problems, such as cavities or gum disease.
Most dental insurance plans cover two visits to the dentist per year. If you don’t have dental insurance, visit the dentist at least once a year for a cleaning and checkup.
However, you might lose your teeth to dental problems if you don’t care for them. As a result, you might require replacement tooth procedures to help you regain your smile.
Dental implants act as anchors for artificial teeth. The metal posts will get surgically placed into the jawbone to ensure you maintain dental health and avoid complications that come with missing teeth.
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy requires more than just brushing and flossing. See your dentist regularly, use the right toothbrush and toothpaste, and master the correct technique. Following these tips can keep your smile healthy and sparkling for years. However, seeing your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups will still be necessary.