According to the CDC, 1 in 4 U.S. adults, or 26% of the population, has untreated tooth decay. 46% of U.S. adults over 30 years old show early signs of gum disease. And, 9% of adults struggle with severe gum disease.
Are you or a loved one struggling with your oral health? You’re likely worried about maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Keep reading to learn some tips for maintaining a healthy smile and avoiding dental health issues.
Don’t Forget About Your Tongue
Your tongue can affect your teeth and gums and your overall oral health as well. When you brush your teeth you should also brush your tongue to help remove the bacteria that build on its surface.
Purchase a toothbrush with a tongue cleaner and gently brush your tongue and the inside of your cheeks for a thorough clean. This can also help eliminate bad breath.
If you wake up every morning with a white tongue this is actually the bacteria and toxins trying to leave your body. Brushing before your first meal ensures you won’t wash down the same bacteria again.
Flossing Protects Your Gums
If you’re wondering how to have healthy gums, the key is to floss every day. Flossing helps remove the food that your toothbrush can’t reach when you brush your teeth.
Flossing will also prevent the build-up of plaque that leads to tooth decay and gum disease. Make sure you floss once a day. Most people prefer to do it at night when they have more time but you can floss in the morning if you prefer.
Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day
This might be an obvious one but it’s important to mention. Brushing your teeth is your first defense against cavities and plaque.
Most dentists recommend brushing your teeth twice a day. Some suggest brushing after every meal, so up to three times a day.
It’s also important to use fluoride toothpaste as this is necessary to decrease the chance of developing cavities, can prevent the formation of plaque, and prevents the harmful effects of sugar on your teeth and gums.
Visit Your Dentist
Another crucial part of keeping your teeth and gums healthy is getting the appropriate dental care. The standard form of care is getting a cleaning every six months.
Regular checkups with your dentist can help you find any oral health issues you’re having and treat them before they get worse. You might need a deep cleaning or a filling placed when you visit the dentist.
You can also visit a laser dentist for teeth whitening, gum disease, and teeth sensitivity. They can help you with all of your oral health needs.
Visits to your dentists are important but you may be wondering what else you can do at home to keep your smile healthy. Besides brushing and flossing daily, you need to use a therapeutic mouthwash each day.
This is a specialized mouthwash available at most drugstores. This kind of mouthwash will do a better job of removing plaque and tartar.
It’ll also prevent gum disease by removing any leftover bacteria from your mouth after brushing and flossing. Never use mouthwash as a replacement for brushing your teeth. Think of it as an additional method of cleaning out the bacteria from your mouth.
Make Sure You’re Eating a Well Balanced Diet
Dental health is affected by the food you eat too. A well-balanced diet with whole grains and green vegetables is good for your body and can build strong bones and teeth.
Calcium is essential to healthy teeth so make sure you’re getting your recommended daily dose. Milk is the most well-known source of calcium but you’ll also get the necessary calcium from broccoli or yogurt to name a few.
Avoid eating too many sugary foods as this can lead to cavities and severe tooth decay in the future. Cut back on soda and drink more water throughout the day too.
Taking care of your physical health is part of maintaining healthy teeth and gums. This means that you should avoid or try to eliminate unhealthy habits.
Smoking puts you at risk for all kinds of diseases including lung cancer and high blood pressure. Smoking or chewing tobacco can stain your teeth, break down your enamel, and damage your gums. It also raises your risk of developing oral cancer.
Smoking is known to weaken the immune system which can make it easier for you to develop gum disease. While gum disease is reversible, a weakened immune system can’t fight the infection as effectively as a healthy one.
Take Care of Your Toothbrush
Learning how to have healthy teeth is also about maintaining a clean toothbrush. You should be changing your toothbrush every three or four months as they become less effective over time.
Even if you haven’t had your toothbrush for more than three months if you notice that the bristles are getting too worn you’ll need to replace your toothbrush.
After brushing your teeth make sure you rinse your toothbrush thoroughly. Store it upright and in an area that gets enough airflow so it can dry.
Bacteria can buildup on a wet toothbrush. You don’t want to be putting a dirty toothbrush in your mouth every day.
Tips for Maintaining Healthy Teeth and Gums
Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is simple if you follow the tips in the guide above. Make sure to brush twice a day and floss daily. Finding a dentist and seeing them for regular checkups will help you catch any issues early on.
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