Follow These 5 Tips for a Healthier Mouth

dentist TulsaWe only get one set of permanent teeth that need to last us for a lifetime of eating, laughing, smiling, and speaking. While there are numerous ways that we abuse our teeth with our lifestyle habits and dietary choices, there are several things to keep in mind that are designed to help us maintain healthier teeth and gums:

  1. Brush twice daily – This may seem obvious, but it’s not just about the brushing. It is important that the correct tools and techniques are used to achieve the maximum benefit. Use a soft bristle toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste. Brush two minutes each time you brush employing small circular motions covering the front, top, and back of a few teeth at a time. Never use a back and forth sawing motion as this can result in premature gum and enamel erosion.
  1. Floss daily – Your toothbrush only reaches two thirds of the surfaces of your teeth; flossing is required to reach the rest to remove food debris your toothbrush missed. In addition, when done correctly, flossing will stimulate gum tissue … there are a multitude of flossing products on the market to accommodate everyone’s needs.
  2. Eat a healthy diet – Your daily diet should be made up primarily of fruits, vegetables, proteins, dairy, and healthy grains. Foods and snacks high in sugar and carbohydrates are best saved for special occasions. Water should be your beverage of choice; staying hydrated is important. Sugary, carbonated, and caffeinated beverages are not designed to enhance oral health. Both regular and diet soda should be  limited. For variety, you can add fruit or sugar free flavorings to your water.
  1. Do not use tobacco – This one should go without saying. Smoking and chewing are deadly habits that will destroy your overall health. Tobacco users are much more likely to suffer from gum disease and tooth loss than those who do not smoke.
  2. See your dentist regularly – At your dental appointment, harmful dental plaque is removed from teeth that has formed since your previous visit; your teeth are polished to look their best; and your dentist will provide an examination hopefully to catch problems that can be treated before they have a chance to escalate. This can be as minor as a small cavity to a more serious problem such as oral cancer.

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