Regular dental visits are a vital part of preventative maintenance for safeguarding your oral health. The frequency of your dental visits is based on a variety of factors including your unique oral health, habits and health conditions, as well as expert advice from your dentist. What about preventative maintenance between dental visits? How does your routine dental care at home affect your oral health? Here are the best dentistry tips you can use to improve your dental health between dentist visits.
Most dentists recommend you brush at least twice per day to remove plaque buildup on teeth. Spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth and cleaning all surfaces thoroughly. A timer can help you stick to the recommended time allotment. Be sure to brush gently with circular motions. Don’t forget to brush your tongue to remove bacteria and ensure fresh breath.
Use the Right Tools
Brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush will protect your tooth enamel and gums from damage. An electric toothbrush can help you brush more consistently and reduce plaque more effectively than a standard toothbrush.
Using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste will help strengthen your enamel. Experts recommend spitting out the toothpaste instead of rinsing to ensure the fluoride remains on your teeth long enough.
Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly
Most toothbrushes — including the brush heads for electric toothbrushes — will need to be replaced after three months of use. If you notice the bristles on your brush appear bent or worn, you may need to replace it sooner.
Dental experts recommend that you floss at least once per day — preferably before bed — as part of your routine dental care. This helps remove food particles that get stuck between teeth preventing them from becoming plaque. Use a gentle rocking motion to clean thoroughly between teeth, and don’t be too rough around your gum line.
According to a survey published by Colgate, more than one in four patients lie to their dentist about how often they floss. While many people find flossing tedious, it’s important to try to establish good routine dental care for your oral health — not just to try to impress your dentist during visits.
Eating and Drinking
When analyzing your diet, don’t just look at what you’re eating and drinking. Consider when and how often you’re doing so. Find practical ways to increase the amount of healthful foods and limit the amount of harmful foods in order to protect your teeth.
Limit Sugar and Acid
Most people know that sugar is damaging to teeth. However, it may surprise you to learn that it’s the frequency of exposure — not the amount of sugar — that’s damaging. It takes your body about an hour to process the acid needed to break down sugary foods. During this time, your teeth are under attack from the acid which can lead to decay. So, it’s best to try to limit your consumption of sugary foods to meal times when digestive acids are already in motion and saliva production is elevated.
In addition to sugar, it’s important to reduce the amount of acidic beverages you drink. For example, limiting your consumption of soda, wine and coffee helps protect your teeth from erosion.
Increase Fresh Produce and Water
Eating a balanced diet that includes fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean proteins provides the nutrients needed to support healthy teeth and gums. Munching on fresh, crunchy vegetables can actually help clean your teeth between brushings.
Water is the beverage of choice when it comes to promoting healthy teeth. With water, there’s no danger of exposure to harmful, erosive substances. Plus, it safely washes away food particles and acids from teeth. Drinking tap water regularly exposes your teeth to fluoride.
Other Dentistry Tips
In addition to brushing, flossing and managing your diet, consider the following dentistry tips for promoting oral health:
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash — Daily use with one containing fluoride will reduce bacteria, freshen your breath and strengthen your enamel. If needed, your dentist can recommend a specific rinse based on your unique oral health.
- Stop smoking — Smoking increases your risk of developing bacterial plaque which can lead to gum disease. Smoking can also cause mouth cancer.
- Avoid using toothpicks — These and other sharp tools can damage your gums.
- Chew sugar-free gum — This will remove food particles between brushings.
Dentistry Tips From West Coast Dental
At West Coast Dental, we have the dental expertise, tools and training needed to assess your teeth and recommend the best strategies for keeping your smile healthy between dental visits. To consult one of our dental experts about routine dental care and maintenance, book an appointment today.
- Mayo Clinic – Oral health: Brush up on dental care basics
- Oral Health Foundation – Caring for my teeth and gums
- Colgate – Five Easy Ways To Improve Dental Health
- Healthline – 11 Ways to Keep Your Teeth Healthy
- Mouth Healthy (ADA) – Diet and Dental Health
- MouthHealthy – 4 Reasons Water Is the Best Beverage for Your Teeth