Shiny, healthy teeth are imperative for each of us, not only in terms of aesthetics but also in terms of health. A lovely smile really adds to your beauty, and you can’t go unnoticed. But your pearly whites also mirror your health because they indicate the proper functioning of many organ systems.
Behind every beautiful and healthy smile lies good dental hygiene. Dental health is influenced by many factors, such as genetics and your daily routine, but regardless of everything, proper care and good habits are necessary to maintain healthy teeth and gums. It’s actually the only safe way to avoid dental problems.
So, when you think about good habits and bad practices to avoid, you might wonder, for example, is eating ice bad for your teeth, or how many carbonated drinks you can drink? In the following, you will get answers to these and many other questions related to your oral health.
Table of Contents
Regular Hygiene: Brushing and Flossing
Many believe that daily brushing, when done properly is enough to keep your teeth healthy. Indeed, this is one of the postulates of good oral hygiene, but it’s far from the only one. How you brush is just as important as doing it regularly. Of course, you should pay attention to the choice of brush and toothpaste.
In the first case, you should go with soft fibers because they won’t damage the teeth or gums if you brush too hard. As for toothpaste, it can come with various add-ons, like whitening or fresh breath agents. In any case, make sure it has fluoride, as it strengthens and protects teeth from decay. And you should only take a small amount of toothpaste.
Apart from brushing your teeth, regular flossing is also important. Dental floss reaches inaccessible spots that are usually impossible to clean with a brush. Food particles often get stuck there, and if you don’t remove them, they can lead to interdental decay, which is more difficult to treat than superficial decay.
Oral and dental hygiene shouldn’t only be regular but also correct. There are guidelines on how to brush your teeth properly to remove deposits that can cause tartar. The same goes for flossing because its improper use can lead to irritation and bleeding gums. It’s especially important to floss properly if you have dental bridges, crowns, and implants.
Proper Nutrition: Food and Water Intake
When you eat foods rich in carbs, i.e., sugars and starches, you’re not only feeding yourself but also the dental plaque bacteria that lead to tooth decay. Sticky food, like dough, sweets, and carbonated sodas, stay longer on the enamel and create barriers that prevent the self-cleaning process of the teeth.
Also, the intake of processed food should be reduced to a minimum, as it abounds in sugar and unhealthy fat. Instead, you should base your daily menu on fruit, vegetables, milk, dairy, grains, meat, fish, and foods that are good for your teeth’ health. They are a natural source of protein, complex carbs, fibers, vitamins, and minerals, especially calcium and phosphorus, which affect enamel strengthening.
Another staple of proper nutrition for good oral health is sufficient water intake. It rinses the mouth and removes residual food particles, thus reducing the risk of tooth decay. Besides, water helps in saliva secretion, the natural self-cleaning mechanism of the teeth and oral cavity. Also, essential minerals that strengthen the dental structure reach the enamel through the saliva.
Seeing Your Dentist on Time
Good dental hygiene and proper nutrition are crucial, but even if you give your teeth the best possible care, dental check-ups from time to time are still necessary. Routine examination and regular tartar removal are excellent prevention for many dental issues.
With the advice of a dentist and adequate dental care, it’s much easier to detect and prevent oral and dental diseases in time. During the check-up, dentists can determine whether there is a risk of caries. They can also recommend ways to maintain good oral hygiene habits and possibly point out some things you’re not doing right that could harm your health.
Things to Avoid
People often make some unconscious mistakes that can harm their teeth. For example, many people suck on a lemon wedge or chew on ice, especially when drinking alcohol. Alcohol itself has adverse effects on teeth health (as seen here). But these two habits can make everything worse.
In the first case, citric acid weakens the enamel, making it more porous. Chewing ice can lead to physical damage that makes the tooth sensitive and more prone to decay. Also, frequent intake of colored drinks (coffee, wine, and even tea) can cause a problem, so their use should be limited. Not to mention, smoking is a great culprit to many oral infections and diseases.
Healthy, beautiful teeth aren’t only a measure of beauty but also of health. And there’s no lovely smile without a lot of effort and time invested. That’s why good dental habits are the cornerstone of good oral health and something that shouldn’t be avoided.