Nine things to keep your smile bright
Who doesn’t want a sparkling smile? Our teeth are often the first thing strangers notice about us, so it’s important to take care of them. And caring for your teeth is a life-time affair. Here are nine critical things you should do regularly to ensure that your teeth remain healthy and white.
- Never go to bed without brushing your teeth. Generally, it’s recommended that you brush your teeth at least twice a day – but what’s less known is that one of those times should absolutely be before you go to bed. Germs and plaque accumulate on your teeth during the day and they can just fester overnight if you don’t remove them before bedtime.
- Don’t just use any kind of toothpaste – make sure yours has fluoride. Sure, toothpaste companies spend a lot of money marketing toothpastes with different flavors or with whitening powers. But neither is more important than ensuring that the toothpaste you use contains fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral found in your bones and teeth. Fluoride is the best defense against tooth decay. It fights germs and provides a protective barrier for your teeth. You should never buy toothpaste that doesn’t include fluoride.
- When brushing, use the proper technique, and be sure to brush your tongue, too. Don’t rush your brushing, take your time, moving your toothbrush in gentle circles over your teeth. Then, turn your attention to your tongue, where plaque can also build up, giving you bad breath. As with your teeth, brush your tongue gently.
- Don’t forget to floss. Brushing is critical to maintaining your oral health, but so is flossing, and the latter is often neglected. Flossing isn’t just for removing food stuck between your teeth – although it’s really helpful for that, too. Flossing is important because it stimulates your gums and helps to reduce inflammation and remove plaque. You should floss at least once a day along with brushing at least twice a day. And don’t let the difficulty of flossing get in your way either. Flossing can be hard for young children or older adults with arthritis. But your local drugstore sells flossers and other tools that make it much easier to floss than just with a piece of waxed string.
- Also use mouthwash. Mouthwashes might not seem necessary, but they can help your oral health by reducing the amount of acid inside your mouth, cleaning hard-to-reach areas around the gums and re-mineralizing teeth. Once again, consider mouthwash with fluoride.
- Drink water. This may seem strange, but drinking more water can greatly improve your oral health (as well as your overall health, too). In particular, drinking water washes out sticky and acidic food particles from your mouth between brushings.
- Eat crunchy produce. Not only do fruits and vegetables contain healthy fiber, eating them strengthens jaw muscles. Young children, in particular, should be encouraged to eat crunchy, fresh produce for this very reason.
- Stay away (as much as possible) from sugary and acidic foods. These kinds of foods erode the enamel of your teeth, which leads to cavities. Granted, these foods also taste great, so you don’t have to avoid them all together. But being mindful of how much you consume them and keeping that in check can greatly help your oral health.
- See your dentist twice a year. No matter how great your daily habits are, you still need to regularly see a dentist, because they can remove plaque buildup and keep an eye out for potential problems. Don’t hesitate to see your Ottawa dentist, if you are in the Ottawa area.
Keeping your smile glowing takes effort, but a healthy smile is worth the investment.