Healthy teeth and gums are about more than keeping your beautiful smile. Good oral health also has an impact on overall health. Some studies show that oral bacteria and some types of gum disease could contribute to a number of diseases including heart disease.
As your local Chicago Dentist, Chicago Dental Arts wants you to stay healthy, so we’ve put together a list of tips for healthier teeth and gums. Check them out below!
The Basics – Brushing and Flossing
Brushing and flossing is the foundation of good oral health. Sounds simple, but only 50% of Americans floss daily – and about 18% don’t floss at all. A proper regimen of brushing and flossing will greatly reduce your chance of gum disease and other oral health issues. Bump up your brushing and flossing game by following these tips:
- Brushing after every meal is ideal, but brush at least twice a day.
- Brush for about 3 minutes.
- Be sure to brush the hard-to-reach teeth in the back of the mouth.
- A brush with an angled head can make it easier to reach back teeth.
- Replace your toothbrush every three months.
- Floss at least once a day.
- If you have trouble reaching certain areas, consider using floss picks or similar products.
- Choose a product that has been approved by the ADA. If you’re unsure what products to choose, talk to your local Western Springs, Chicago, or Skokie dentist.
Just Say No to Tobacco
It won’t come as a huge surprise that smoking and using other types of tobacco products has a negative impact on your oral health. Tooth loss, stained teeth, a greater chance of suffering from periodontal disease, and oral cancers are some of the oral health issues that are caused by smoking and chewing tobacco.
A Healthy Diet
Even many children know that sugar is bad for your teeth, but avoiding sugary snacks isn’t the only way that diet can have an impact on teeth and gums. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Indulging in a sweet treat now and then is ok, but brush your teeth as soon as possible after eating sugary snacks.
- An overall healthy diet is necessary for optimum oral health. Be sure to include lots of whole grains, fruits, and veggies in your diet.
- Even people who avoid cakes and candy can end up with way too much sugar in their diet because of what they drink. Soda, sweet coffees, and other sugar-laden drinks are horrible for your teeth. Another problem is that even people who do brush after eating might not do so after drinking soda, so that sugar will have a longer time to damage the teeth.
- Don’t chew ice! This is an easy way to damage the enamel or even break a tooth.
To Rinse or Not to Rinse
Mouthwash products can be a good addition to your oral care routine, but they are not necessary for everyone. For people who have trouble brushing and flossing efficiently, using an antibacterial or antimicrobial mouthwash can be helpful. Ask your Chicago, Skokie, or Western Springs dentist if adding mouthwash to your oral care regimen is right for you.
Start Them Young
Instilling good habits in children is the best way to help them have a lifetime of good oral health. There are products designed to help children learn proper brushing and flossing techniques. For example, consider buying your child toothpaste that shows kids where they missed while brushing.
Don’t Ignore the Signs
Bleeding gums, a toothache, and sensitive teeth are a few of the warning signs that something might not be quite right with your teeth and gums. Don’t ignore these signs. The earlier a problem is caught, the easier it is to treat.
Here at Chicago Dental Arts, we’re ready to help you out when issues arise. Visit us for any general and cosmetic dentistry needs, or contact us today to learn more about how to make sure your teeth will last a lifetime!