Dental health is important for a variety of reasons. For starters, there’s the aesthetic component. If you regard oral hygiene as an afterthought, you’re liable to wind up with discolored teeth, weakened enamel and possibly even premature tooth loss. Needless to say, this won’t serve you well in social situations and is liable to make you hesitant to show others your smile. Secondly, there’s the health component. In the absence of proper hygiene, the bacteria levels in your mouth can pave the way for oral infections, endocarditis and pneumonia – among other things. So, in the interest of maintaining a winning smile and keeping your overall health in check, put the following oral hygiene tips to good use.
See Your Dentist Twice a Year
Even if you’re not particularly fond of going to the dentist, seeing your dentist every six months can do your teeth a world of good. In addition to having your teeth professionally cleaned, this will enable you to stay on top of any other oral health issues that are at play. For example, many dentists now provide patients with oral cancer screenings, which stands to save lives. Regular dental visits will also ensure that you’re kept abreast of cavities, abscesses and other serious situations unfolding inside your mouth.
Be Consistent with Brushing and Flossing
Although brushing and flossing on a daily basis may seem like a no-brainer, you might be surprised by the number of people who regard this crucial step as optional. For starters, you should make a point of brushing and flossing within 30 minutes to one hour after eating. Granted, if you’re in public, at work or at someone else’s home, this may not always be an option. However, at the barest possible minimum, you should be brushing and flossing twice a day. Once in the morning – ideally after eating breakfast – and once before going to sleep. Prompt brushing and flossing are particularly important after consuming foods that are high in sugar and starch.
Be Careful with Foods and Beverages That Are Conducive to Staining
Certain foods and beverages are highly conducive to stained enamel. While you needn’t necessarily avoid these things entirely, you should certainly be mindful of how often you consume them. In fact, many of us consume some of these foods and drinks on a daily basis. Examples of stain-conducive foods and beverages include coffee, tea, wine, sports drinks, peanut butter, berries, sauces and curry – among other things. In the interest of avoiding stains, make a point of brushing and flossing within 30 minutes to one hour of consumption of any of these foods. You may also want to rethink the frequency with which you indulge in them.
If you can’t envision a life without coffee, there are a number of steps you can take to reduce the risk of straining. In addition to expedient brushing, you should consider adding milk to your coffee – and tea – as this helps break up the staining properties. Furthermore, consuming coffee and tea through a straw can limit the amount of direct contact these substances have with your teeth. (Of course, this isn’t to say that staining can’t occur with straw use.)
Have Oral Health Issues Promptly Addressed
Instead of allowing oral health issues to linger, it’s in your best interest to have them professionally addressed posthaste. So, whenever you notice anything awry in your mouth or experience mouth-based pain or discomfort, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your dentist. Some issues can even prove fatal if left alone long enough, so expediency will certainly work to your advantage.
You should also have certain cosmetic issues taken care of in a timely manner. For example, the next time you break or chip a tooth, you should immediately start looking into dental crowns cost.
To call oral hygiene important would be an understatement. Failing to properly care for your teeth stands to impact virtually every facet of your life. For example, showing prospective friends, romantic partners and employers a mouth full of poorly maintained teeth is unlikely to make a great first impression. Additionally, lackluster oral upkeep can have significant effects on your overall health. Anyone looking to avoid such outcomes would do well to heed the pointers discussed above.