A healthy smile is attractive and pleasing to the eyes. But great teeth have other benefits. A healthy smile also means being able to chew food properly, avoiding toothaches, and spending less time in the dental chair. But that isn’t all! Dental research suggests that oral health problems may lead to other issues in the body like an increased risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimers, low birth weight, and many other significant diseases. Fortunately, there are a host of very simple methods to keep teeth strong and healthy from childhood to old age. Read on to discover more details from the staff at 7to7 Dental & Orthodontics!
1. See your dentist every six months. Most experts recommend that patients have a dental check-up every 6 months. However, this should be more often if patients have problems like gum disease. During a routine exam, oral health professionals remove plaque, look for signs of decay, and can also screen for problems like oral cancers and gum disease.
2. Brush after meals and floss daily. This may seem obvious, but many people still do not follow these rules. Simply brushing and flossing removes food particles and excess plaque that can cause cavities or bad breath. Make sure to replace your brush regularly and see your dentist for proper brushing techniques.
3. Use the proper amount of fluoride. This simple tool can strengthen enamel, making it less likely to be impacted by decay. Besides the water supply in most towns, many kinds of toothpaste and mouth rinses also contain fluoride. Watch young children carefully and do not let them have more than a pea-sized dab on the toothbrush. Too much fluoride can cause white spots on teeth or digestive issues.
4. Use sealants. This tip requires your dentist to paint a clear coat of protectant over your child’s teeth. Sealants can be a powerful tool for children with deep grooves in their teeth or those who may be cavity prone. See your dentist for more details on how your children could benefit from using this treatment.
5. Rinse or chew gum after meals. In addition to brushing and flossing, rinsing your mouth with an antibacterial rinse can help prevent decay and gum problems. Chewing sugar-free gum after a meal can also protect your teeth and gums by increasing saliva flow, which naturally washes bacteria away and neutralizes acid.
6. Protect your teeth during sports. Physical activity can keep our bodies healthy and reduce stress, but it can also damage teeth if a mouth guard is not utilized. And don’t forget recreational activities like skateboarding, bike-riding, and roller-blading. Ask your dentist about a custom-fitted mouth guard or buy one at a sporting goods store that can be fitted to your mouth at home.
7. Avoid tobacco products. We all know that tobacco use can cause cancer, so why do so many people still use it? Tobacco stains your teeth and increases your risk of oral health problems. Moreover, e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco are not better alternatives either. The oral health impact can be the same for all of these products.
8. Watch your diet. A balanced diet is essential to healthy teeth and gums for patients of all ages. Try consuming a well-balanced diet with plenty of grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. Avoid sugary foods and simple carbohydrates as much as possible, since they increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
9. Start kids on the path to dental wellness early. Roughly half of all children between the ages of 12 and 15 have dental cavities. For this reason, dentists recommend that dental care begins as soon as a child’s first tooth appears, usually around six months. Parents can wipe teeth clean, with a soft, damp cloth, or a very soft brush. Most children can try brushing for themselves around age two with parental supervision.
Here at 7to7 Dental & Orthodontics, we love getting patients’ smiles healthy and keeping them there. Exams and cleanings are a great way to keep your family’s oral health in check. Dental implants are also a wonderful tool in keeping your smile in tip-top shape. You can read more details about this tooth replacement treatment on our Dental Implants InfoSite. We serve patients in San Antonio and beyond, so give us a call today to schedule an appointment.