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 and more serious dental problems. Routinely brushing your teeth and gums can also give you a whiter, more appealing smile which you can show off and be proud of, helping to boost your self-confidence.
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 forget about 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. Renewing your toothbrush or toothbrush head will help to prevent a build-up of bacteria captured in the toothbrush bristles and in turn help to provide a better clean for your teeth.
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. Sticky sweets including lollies can sometimes get stuck in the cracks of your teeth, which can cause a decaying of your teeth. 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. This also has the added effect of being beneficial to your general 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. Its also the perfect opportunity for your dentist to complete a ‘deep clean’ of your teeth, should they need it.
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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. This helps to protect the teeth from daily activities including eating and drinking.
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. This dental tip is easy to introduce into daily life, simply having a bottle of water on you is ideal. Drinking water can also help to improve your overall health.
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 good sources of calcium, and working these into your diet will help to keep your teeth in check. It's worth noting that phosphorus and vitamin D are two other minerals which help calcium in the fight to keep your teeth in the best possible condition.
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. If you have any dental concerns, notifying your dentist is one of the best ways to avoid major dental problems
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. This tip is yet another reason why drinking water is highly beneficial to your health.
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 will also give you an overall increase in general health, alongside fresher breath and better teeth. There are various resources available to help; take a look on the NHS site, or talk to your dentist. Sometimes, your first attempt at quitting won’t work, but don’t give up. Try and find a method of quitting which works for you.
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 their intended purpose of eating. If you look after your teeth, they'll last you a lifetime.
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. Taking the time to look into which toothpaste is right for you will help you to sustain a smile that you can be proud of for years to come.
14. Sugar Free 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. Chewing gum also has the bonus of helping you to lose weight. Chewing gum between meals can help you to digest meals quickly preventing fat storage.
While not as effective overall as brushing, if used in conjunction with brushing then mouthwash 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. Using mouth wash alongside a toothbrush can cover up to 99% of the surface of your teeth, which does a great job of preventing tooth decay.
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. MSC will often recommend using all three methods constantly to provide the best possible clean.
17. Taking Care of Your Braces
While this is a specific tip it still has some relevance to everyone. 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. Keeping them clean now could save you a lot of hassle further down the line.
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. Simply addressing what you consume on a weekly basis can help to provide your body with everything it needs for not only a great smile, but great overall health.
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 in these products. For the best and healthiest tooth whitening results, make sure you visit your dentist where they can provide you with licenced treatment which can offer incredible results.
20. Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Alcohol is a substance that in excess, can cause negative effects on the human body, its mental state and if consumed regularly, its smile. Many heavy drinkers will experience high levels of tooth decay and an increased chance of gum disease. Reducing your alcohol intake to below the recommended intake each week will help improve both your dental and overall health. For more information about the effects of alcohol to the body and how you can quit drinking, visit the NHS website.
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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.