Maintaining your oral health not only affects the look and overall health of your teeth and gums, but a healthy smile can impact other aspects of your health, including stroke, heart disease, and even diabetes. Proper oral health goes beyond just brushing and flossing daily, though those habits are highly valuable! If you are concerned about keeping your teeth and gums free from disease and decay, the following ten tips from our Rigby orthodontics office, Randall Orthodontics, can help.
Continue reading for more information on how you can keep your smile beautiful and brilliant for years to come.
Improving Your Oral Health
Invest in a Better Toothbrush
As previously mentioned, brushing your teeth twice daily, as many of the best orthodontists in Rigby will suggest, is one of the easiest ways to keep your teeth healthy. But we think you should take this a step further by investing in a better toothbrush. As this article from Colgate points out, “if you’ve been brushing with a product that has particularly tough bristles, you might be hurting your dental health without even realizing it.” To keep your teeth free from damage, opt for a toothbrush with soft bristles, rather than hard bristles. If you’re unsure of which type of toothbrush to get, discuss your options with your Rigby orthodontist.
Floss, Floss, Floss
There is a reason that dentists and orthodontists drill us on flossing at every appointment- it’s important! Flossing helps to remove any food that gets stuck between your teeth or braces, which, if not taken care of, can turn into plaque. Flossing should be done at least once a day and before going to bed. For optimal oral health, try flossing in the morning, after every meal, and at night to remove any food from the day.
Use Your Mouthwash
While many of us know about mouthwash and have seen plenty of commercials boasting the necessity of mouthwash, not everyone uses it. This is because, as Healthline states, many people skip mouthwash because they don’t know how it works. Mouthwash benefits our oral health in the following ways:
- It reduces the amount of acid in the mouth
- Cleans hard-to-brush areas around the gums
- Remineralizes the teeth
Not all mouthwashes are created equally or designed to be used by everyone. Discuss which mouthwash will be best for you or your family with your Rigby orthodontist at your next appointment.
Don’t Forget About Your Tongue
Unfortunately, in many oral hygiene routines, the tongue is often overlooked. However, just like your teeth and gums, bacteria build up on your tongue, which can cause bad breath and can actually redeposit the bacteria onto the teeth and gums, thus leading to plaque and tartar build-up. To avoid this, brush your tongue lightly with your toothbrush after you have spit out excess toothpaste, but before rinsing.
Be on the Lookout for Teeth Grinding
Grinding your teeth at night can cause worn tooth enamel, torn cheek tissue, and increased tooth sensitivity. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be time to discuss having an oral appliance such as a mouthguard in Rigby created for you. Mouthguards are worn at night and protect your teeth from the negative impact that grinding can cause to your oral health.
Drink More Water (Tap Water if You Can)
Drinking water after every meal can help to break loose any food that may be stuck between teeth. Additionally, drinking water throughout the day, especially tap water, if your water has fluoride added to it, can help to strengthen your teeth. Aim for 8 to 10 glasses of water a day or half of your body weight in ounces for optimal health overall.
Limit Sugary Foods and Drinks
Sugar in both food and drinks converts into acid in the mouth. Acid can cause erosion on the enamel of teeth and is also one of the leading proponents of cavities. Because of this, Rigby’s best orthodontists and dentists recommend that everyone limit their sugar intake, including candy, processed foods, sodas, and coffee.
Go For The Crunchy Stuff
Crunchy fruits and vegetables, that is. In addition to eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, and lean protein, opt for crunchy vegetables and fruit instead of cooking these items down to mush. Choosing to eat fruits and veggies as fresh as possible will result in more fiber, which is essential for strong, healthy teeth. Plus, crunchy food makes the jaws perform more, which will increase strength and mobility in the jaw muscles and joints.
Apart from all the other notable adverse effects of smoking, smoking is especially harmful to your teeth and gums. Here are nine reasons why you should quit smoking for your oral health as outlined by Dentegra.com:
- Smokers incur twice the tooth loss of non-smokers, due to plaque and tartar build-up that encourages dental decay.
- Smokers are diagnosed with infected tooth roots at twice the rate of non-smokers
- Smoking reduces your ability to fight infection throughout the body, including in the mouth and gums.
- Smoking causes bad breath.
- Smoking slows your body’s ability to heal from injury or surgery (including tooth extraction and oral surgery),
- Smoking reduces the effectiveness of gum disease treatments (periodontal treatment) that stop or delay tooth loss.
- Smoking can discolor teeth.
- Smoking can cause inflammation of the salivary gland openings on the roof of the mouth.
- Tobacco use increases the risk of developing cancer. (According to the American Cancer Society, about 90% of people with cancer of the mouth, lips, tongue, and throat use tobacco, and the risk increases with the amount smoked or chewed and the duration of the habit. Smokers are six times more likely than non-smokers to develop these cancers.)
Keep Your Regular Dental and Orthodontic Appointments
Last but certainly not least, to maintain excellent oral health, it’s critical that you keep your regular dentist appointments and orthodontic appointments if you have braces or a retainer. Plan to visit your dentist at least twice a year for regular checkups. You may need to see your Rigby orthodontist more than twice a year, depending on your treatment plan. Everyone deserves a beautiful smile, and we want to make sure you smile with Confidence! If you would like to request a consultation or have any questions, contact Randall Orthodontics today.