20 Top Dental Tips for 2019
Tips for Looking After Your Smile
Looking after your teeth is something which should be important to us all. Unfortunately, it is something which can often go forgotten by many and leads to bad breath, plaque build-up and more serious dental problems. However, there are a multitude of ways in which you can help look after your smile and keep a lasting smile for years to come. Read on below for MSC’s 20 top tips for looking after your teeth.
Brushing your teeth is simple, quick, and is one of the best ways to keep your teeth in good working order. Completing a 2-minute brush twice a day really helps to remove plaque from the teeth, which can help to prevent tooth decay. Routinely brushing doesn’t just give health benefits, a good brush will also give you a whiter more appealing smile that you can be proud of.
2. Toothbrush Choice
Everyone’s teeth and gums are different and selecting a toothbrush that works for you is important. For the vast majority of us however, an electric toothbrush will be the ideal choice, as it gives a more in-depth clean compared to a regular toothbrush. Something that a lot of people often disregarded in regards to their toothbrush, is the effectiveness of it over time. It is recommended that you change your toothbrush every 3-6 months to help ensure optimal cleaning of your teeth and prevent a build-up of bacteria captured in the toothbrush bristles.
3. Less Sugary Food and Drinks
Sweet treats and sugary drinks are a common indulgence. It’s important to be careful when consuming anything sugary. Take a moment to consider how much sugar can be found in these drinks and snacks; some fizzy drinks can contain up to 8 teaspoons of sugar in a small 330ml can. While sticky sweets including lollies can sometimes get stuck in the cracks of your teeth, which can cause tooth decay. One quick and easy way to address this is to eat and drink sugar-free items, or purchase items with no added sugar. Doing so will reduce the amount of sugar that your teeth are exposed to, which helps improve your dental health.
4. Regular Visits to the Dentist
It may seem like an unnecessary chore, but a quick visit to the dentist every six months really does help you to look after your teeth. Your dentist will be able to pick up on any issues that you may not have noticed. This allows you to address dental problems quickly and easily before they become a lot more problematic.
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This effective method of protecting your teeth are more commonly used on children and teenagers. This is generally because they do not have any decay in the early stages of life. Sealants are a thin protective coating that covers the ‘chewing’ teeth allowing for one more barrier of protection.
6. Drinking Water
The importance of water to the human body is profound. In regards to your dental health, consuming water helps to wash away food and any other substances which may remain in the mouth after a meal. This helps to reduce the chance of tooth decay. The second benefit to drinking water is its ability to neutralise the PH levels in your mouth from slightly acidic back to a neutral PH. This stops the acids from breaking down the enamel on your teeth and causing sensitivity and/or damage.
7. Calcium Intake
Calcium is key to strong and healthy teeth, which should make it a key part of your diet. The stronger your teeth are, the more likely they are to last longer. Any item such as milk, some types of fish, cheese and green leafy veg are all great sources of calcium, and working these into your diet will help to keep your teeth in check.
8. Know Your Teeth
More often than not, many people will worry about sensitive teeth and will take it as a sign of bad dental hygiene, causing them to brush for longer and harder. However, some people do suffer from sensitive teeth, regardless of their dental hygiene. A few ways you can address this are by brushing with less pressure and by using a toothbrush with softer bristles. This will normally be listed on the toothbrush packet for convenience. If your sensitive teeth continue to be a concern, make sure you bring it up with your dentist. They will be able to help suggest ways of tackling this problem.
9. Avoiding Dry Mouth
A dry mouth can be caused by a variety of factors, including: a blocked nose; drinking alcohol; and salty foods. The absence of saliva in the mouth can be detrimental for your dental health. This is because saliva helps to kill off harmful bacteria and other such things in your mouth. You can help your body produce more saliva by regularly drinking water, having a small bite to eat or chewing some sugar-free gum.
10. Quit Smoking
Smoking is just as bad for your teeth as it is for your overall health. Smoking has been found to cause oral cancer alongside being the root cause of a whole range of other dental problems. Quitting smoking can give you an overall increase in your health, alongside fresher breath and cleaner teeth. There are various resources available to help; take a look on the NHS site, or talk to your dentist.
11. Seek Medical Advice about Acid Reflux Symptoms
This rather obscure tip is actually something which can be useful to maintain your dental health. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD can cause the enamel on your teeth to break down and leave your teeth vulnerable to damage. If you’re experiencing any symptoms, don’t hesitate to get help by visiting your GP.
12. Don’t Use Your Teeth as Tools
It is a fairly common habit to use your teeth to do more than just chew your food. Anything from opening plastic packets or holding keychains to opening bottles; doing more than chewing food with your teeth can cause them damage. You wouldn’t use a hammer for removing a screw, so why use your teeth for anything other than eating.
A lot of people these days will just pick up any old toothpaste. There is a great variety of toothpaste on the market today which offer different advantages and disadvantages. It's worth doing a little research and finding a toothpaste that does what you want; whether that’s a whiter smile, eliminating plaque or reducing sensitivity. The one thing your toothpaste should be however, is a fluoride toothpaste.
14. Sugarfree Gum
A lot of people chew gum; and if it’s sugar-free it can offer a lot of health benefits. Gum is great for fresh and minty breath while also helping to encourage the production of saliva. It can also help to dislodge any food stuck in your mouth after a meal. Chewing some sugar-free gum after every meal is a great way to keep your smile healthy.
While not as effective overall as brushing, if used in conjunction with brushing then it can provide that little extra push to giving you an incredibly healthy smile. Using mouthwash after brushing your teeth really does have an incredible effect. This is because your mouthwash can reach all the areas of your mouth that your brush may have missed or have been ineffective at cleaning.
Just like mouthwash, flossing offers another way to really keep your dental health in check. Flossing allows you to clean the surface areas of the teeth that your toothbrush misses during cleaning and can help to dislodge food that may be stuck between your teeth.
17. Taking Care of Your Braces
While this is a specific tip it still has some relevance. Braces require a similar cleaning and maintenance plan as your teeth. Keeping your braces clean will not only speed up your treatment but will also help you to avoid inflammation of your gums, lips and cheeks. While cleaning your braces can be a chore, failure to do so can cause you a lot of dental problems.
18. Varied Diet
Having a balanced diet is not only great for your overall health but also does wonders for your smile. Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet helps to provide the body with key minerals and vitamins which in turn keeps your teeth strong and healthy. As mentioned before, some foods contain specific substances, such as calcium, which can help keep your teeth healthy and strong.
19. Be Careful in Regards to Whitening Your Teeth
Clean, white teeth are often a sign of healthier teeth. Teeth whitening is an effective cosmetic treatment that can give you the results you are looking for. It is important to visit your dentist for this however. Buying unbranded products off the internet can cause major damage to your teeth due to uncontrolled levels of hydrogen peroxide. For the best and healthiest tooth whitening results, make sure you visit your dentist.
20. Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Alcohol is a substance that in excess, can cause negative effects on both the human body and it’s smile. Many heavy drinkers will experience high levels of tooth decay and an increase chances of gum disease. Reducing your alcohol intake to below the recommended intake each week will help improve both your dental and overall health.
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Maintaining a smile you can be proud of is harder than it may seem. To get some more information or book a dental appointment, contact us today.