Maintaining good dental care habits is important for healthy teeth and gums. If a regular daily routine is not performed, teeth and gums will be affected by cavities, embarrassing stains and gum disease. Loss of teeth and swollen, painful gums may also occur.
Brushing Teeth and Gums
Teeth and gums should be brushed every day at least twice a day. Both adults and children should brush for no less than two minutes with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Using a medium or hard-bristled brush can damage tooth enamel and cause sore gums. Those with braces should brush after every meal.
Flossing Between Teeth
Cleaning between teeth with waxed or unwaxed floss should occur at least once a day. Doing so removes any food particles that the toothbrush did not dislodge. Small floss rolls, picks or a water pick can be used after brushing. Children can also floss as long as they are taught the proper way.
Brushing and flossing cleans and refreshes one’s mouth, but many adults also use mouthwash or a fluoride rinse in their daily routine. Antiseptic mouthwash not only cleans and refreshes but also helps heal canker sores or swollen gums. A fluoride rinse is used for added protection for tooth enamel.
Watch What You Eat
Some foods promote the production of bacteria that causes cavities. These foods include sticky, sweet snacks like candy, cake and dried fruit. Large amounts of coffee and tea will stain teeth; and sugar-filled beverages like fruit juice, carbonated drinks, sports and energy drinks will damage enamel over time. It is recommended to include plenty of water, fruit, vegetables, nuts and cheese in one’s diet on a daily basis.
Regular Dental Checkups and Cleanings
Visiting the dentist every six months for a checkup ensures that any tooth or gum damage will be caught early and treated appropriately. Professional cleanings remove any plaque that normal brushing and flossing did not remove before cavities form.
Both children and adults should maintain good dental care habits on a daily basis. Healthy gums and teeth encourage a positive attitude, self esteem and outward appearance. It is better to have one’s natural teeth for as long as possible and taking care of them every day will ensure that.