Enjoying optimal oral health doesn’t happen overnight. To have teeth and gums that are in great condition, you need to devote some time and effort to look after them. You may need to make some drastic lifestyle changes, too.
Taking advantage of the right cosmetic and preventative dentistry services and treatments will help you maintain healthy teeth and gums as well.
If you want to have healthier teeth and gums, here is a 7-step game plan you can follow:
Step 1 – Brush Properly
Brushing your teeth is the most important oral hygiene habit you should never neglect. When you brush, you remove leftover food particles from your teeth.
But simply going through the motions of brushing isn’t enough. To ensure you keep your teeth and gums healthy:
- Brush at least twice a day; never forget to brush before sleeping.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Use fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride helps protect your teeth from plaque build-up and the bad effects of sugar.
- Follow the right brushing technique: hold your brush at a 45-degree angle, then brush your teeth gently with small back and forth and up and down strokes. Make sure you brush all surfaces. Do this for at least two minutes.
- Wait until 30 minutes after eating before brushing.
Step 2 – Floss Every Day
Flossing removes the food particles and bacteria that brushing can’t remove. This is because there are some areas in your teeth that your toothbrush simply can’t reach.
To floss properly:
- Floss at night.
- Use dental floss between 45 and 50 centimetres long.
- Be gentle when flossing.
- Use only a clean section of the floss when moving from one tooth to another.
- Rinse after flossing.
Step 3 – Always Have the Right Oral Care Supplies
Make it a habit to keep a stock of new toothbrushes, toothpaste, and dental floss. Keep in mind that you need to change your toothbrush every three months so be sure you have a replacement handy all the time.
By always having a spare box of toothpaste and dental floss in the bathroom cupboard, you will have no excuses not to adhere to your oral care routine continuously.
Step 4 – Get Rid of Bad Oral Habits
Various bad oral habits can cause you to have unhealthy teeth and gums. These include:
- Biting your nails – This unhealthy oral habit can lead to jaw issues and tooth damage. Nail biting can introduce all sorts of bacteria into your mouth as well.
- Smoking or using tobacco products – Smoking and chewing tobacco causes discolouration of the teeth and bad breath. Prolonged tobacco use also leads to the loss of bone density in the jaw, gum disease, and even oral cancer.
- Clenching and grinding your teeth – Teeth grinding or bruxism can erode tooth enamel, which can lead to sensitivity and pain. Clenching your jaws can cause cracked and chipped teeth and may lead to jaw pain and headaches.
- Using your teeth as tools – Using your pearly whites to open bags of chips and containers and cut clothing tags can cause you to crack or chip your teeth. You may injure your gums as well.
- Brushing your teeth too hard – Aggressively brushing your teeth can irritate the gums and erode your tooth enamel.
Once you stop these habits, you will be on your way to having healthier teeth and gums. You will avoid inadvertently damaging them, too.
Step 5 – Modify Your Diet
Certain foods such as lollies, chips and starchy snacks, and beverages including red wine, coffee, and soft drinks, and acidic foods are bad for your teeth and can damage enamel. Eating and drinking these products frequently can hasten plaque build-up, tooth decay, and teeth stains and discolouration. If you are going to have some of these foods, try to have them with your main meals, and avoid snacking regularly on them during the day, as this allows a continuous attack on your teeth. Afterwards, be sure to clean as normal, or chew sugar-free gum.
The right foods and drinks though will help you have better oral health. These include:
- Cheese, milk, and other dairy products
- Raw vegetables such as carrots and celery
- Green leafy vegetables
If you want to have better-looking teeth and improved dental health, avoid food and beverages that won’t help with maintaining oral health and consume more of these dentist-recommended ones.
Step 6 – Don’t Ignore Tooth Pain
If you notice throbbing pain in your teeth or after eating or drinking something cold or hot, don’t just ignore it. Don’t keep depending on pain medications to find relief as well.
Whether the pain or discomfort is fleeting or recurring and whether it is severe or not, visit your dentist immediately. By doing so, your dental issue will be diagnosed correctly and treated immediately. You can then avoid various complications and more expensive, time-consuming dental treatments that may occur if a condition is left untreated.
Step 7 – See Your Dentist Regularly
Aside from visiting your dentist during a dental emergency, make sure you see him or her every six months. This will allow the dentist to monitor your oral health and prevent different kinds of dental problems such as plaque build-up, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Keep in mind that when these are not treated immediately, they can lead to bigger, more painful dental problems.
If you’re in Brisbane and have an urgent question regarding the steps above or you have concerns about your dental health, you can ask one of our dentists online.