4 Ways to Keep Your Smile Healthy
Did you know that your oral health directly impacts your overall health? From cardiovascular disease and diabetes, to stress and anxiety, taking care of your oral health can impact a lot more than just your mouth.
Fortunately, there are 4 habits you can start today that will keep your whole family smiling:
4. Eat Healthy
Brushing twice a day removes bacteria and plaque that can cause tooth decay and gum disease. To effectively and efficiently brush your teeth, make sure you’re using a soft-bristle brush (unless otherwise directed by your dentist) and brush all slides of your teeth (the outside, the tongue side, and the chewing surfaces). Don’t rush the process! It should take at least two minutes to brush your teeth.
While most of us are used to brushing regularly, we tend to forget about flossing. According to a survey by the American Dental Association, only 16% of people floss at least once a day! Flossing is a crucial part of your oral health routine. It helps keep your mouth clean, keeps bits of food from lodging between your teeth and removes plaque. To get started, use about 18 inches of floss and gently slide it between your teeth. The ADA also has a useful guide for how to floss if you’re struggling and would like some guidance.
Mouth rinsing is another easy way to protect your teeth. Though not a replacement for brushing and flossing, mouthwash can get in between the teeth to areas a toothbrush won’t reach. The benefits are more than just fresh breath — it can help to control plaque, reduce tooth decay and prevent gum disease. When selecting an over-the-counter mouthwash, look for products that carry the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance.
Your snacking habits can also directly affect your oral health. Eating sugary snacks causes the plaque in the mouth to mix with the sugar to create acid. The more acid, the more it harms your teeth over time by attacking tooth enamel. Limiting sugar intake, especially sugary beverages, and replacing it with food or beverages that are high in calcium can help maintain healthier teeth.
Everybody’s situation is different, so always talk to your dentist about the oral health practices that are best for you.
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