June 30, 2013
Bright, healthy smiles give the impression of overall health and youth. You can work to keep teeth healthy and bright through establishing a few healthy habits. Taking these simple steps will help keep your teeth sparkling.
Get into a Routine
It is essential that you do whatever it takes to make sure you brush for 2 minutes twice a day and floss at least once a day. Leave your toothbrush out on the counter in an attractive holder, rather than hidden in a drawer, and set a reminder on your phone.
Regular brushing and flossing at home is important because it helps remove food particles before they bind with natural bacteria in the mouth to form plaque, which can harden into tartar and cause cavities and bad breath.
Finish with a Rinse
Like flossing, mouth rinses can reach below the gum line to neutralize bad breath and fight bacteria. Mouth rinses or mouthwashes come with a variety of active ingredients, each designed to suit your particular needs. Pick one that supports your oral health goals, whether is antibacterial to curb plaque buildup or one with fluoride to help strengthen teeth.
By limiting the amount of food you consume between meal times, you can help limit the acid it produces has to bind to teeth and form plaque. Sugary snacks and foods with refined sugars such as crackers pretzels provide lots of food for oral bacteria. Foods with natural sugars, such as unsweetened yogurt, cheese, fresh fruits and vegetables help stimulate saliva production (more on that soon!) and do not provide excess food for bacteria.
Water is an essential part of oral health. Drinking water after eating helps wash small food particles off teeth. Additionally, water helps stimulate the mouth’s natural saliva production, which neutralizes some of the bacteria that binds with food to cause plaque. Make sure you are reaching for milk or water over regular or diet soda as sugary drinks can cause staining and tooth decay. If you must go for an acidic drink, we recommend using a straw to limit the amount of time they are in contact with your teeth.
Know your Dentist
Make sure you visit your dentist for regular cleanings twice a year. Professional cleanings can remove tartar and plaque that normal brushing and flossing often miss. Of course, your dentists can also alert to you other dental issues.
It is important that you find a dentist you feel comfortable asking questions to, and who takes the time to give you thoughtful answers. Petry Walton takes the time to get to know our patients, their goals, and their habits in order to provide the best dental care possible. We’d love to talk with you about your smile!