7 Best Habits for Keeping Your Teeth Healthy
Good oral health is essential if you want to keep your teeth strong, healthy, and white. Adopting bad habits is one way to destroy those pearly whites, but there are a few good habits that can reverse those negative effects and prevent long-lasting damage.
Learn How to Brush Properly
You’d be surprised just how many people don’t brush properly. And we’re not just talking about not brushing for the full two minutes or brushing too hard.
These are certainly big issues, but there are more.
For instance, it’s not uncommon for people to neglect their gum lines. They avoid touching their gums, either because they’re worried about causing harm or because their gums are sensitive. In doing so, they neglect a key part of the tooth, an area that is prone to decay.
If you’ve ever had decay here, you can attest to just how painful it is to fix and how unsightly it can be. To avoid it, pay special attention to the gum line and make sure your brush covers every part of the tooth.
Unenthusiastic brushing is also an issue. Lethargically twirling the brush around your mouth for two minutes isn’t going to do much. If this is an issue, use an electric toothbrush, and make sure you still brush in circular movements, as opposed to simply holding the brush in place and letting the vibrations do the work.
Remember the Tongue
Your tongue is a haven for bacteria and a leading cause of bad breath. It doesn’t need to be cleaned twice a day like your teeth and it definitely doesn’t require 2 minutes of vigorous brushing, but you should clean it every so often preferably at least once a day.
Many toothbrushes are fitted with tongue scrapers, but you can also simply use the bristles, remembering not to scrub too hard.
We recently looked at the benefits of flossing in great detail and noted how studies have been pretty ambiguous on the actual benefits due to many reporting errors and issues. We also mentioned how flossing probably has no impact on cardiovascular health, despite recent reports that not flossing can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
But despite all of this, it’s still an essential habit to have. Common sense dictates that flossing is essential. We know that the longer food particles remain lodged in your teeth, the more damage they do, and we also know that flossing can remove particles that rinsing and brushing can’t.
So, make sure you reserve time for at least 1 thorough floss every day.
Whitening toothpaste is very popular these days and is outselling many non-whitening brands. But it doesn’t work in the way you’d expect and can cause more harm than good.
Whitening toothpaste contains highly abrasive compounds, and these are designed to scrub the plaque from your teeth. The problem is, many of them don’t contain fluoride, which is needed to strengthen your teeth, and the constant act of scrubbing can wear the enamel down and make them weak, brittle, and sensitive.
Furthermore, a whitening paste can only clean the outer surface of the tooth and has no effect on the inner surface, the dentin. If you have discolored teeth and they remain discolored no matter how hard or often you brush, it’s probably because your dentin is stained or because your enamel is covered with tartar.
The only way to get rid of the latter is to get a deep clean from your dentist. As for the former, you can use one of our whitening kits to attack both the outer and inner surfaces.
A quick rinse can greatly reduce the levels of bacteria in your mouth. It can also help to neutralize acidity and wash away plaque and bacteria.
However, the vast majority of us simply don’t rinse as often as we should or at the right time. Many rinse after brushing their teeth, getting rid of the chalky, minty taste, but in doing so, they’re also washing away all that useful fluoride, which would otherwise help to keep the teeth strong.
Mouthwash is also used after brushing. Not only does it have the same effect, getting rid of useful fluoride, but it can also dry the mouth out due to its alcohol content. You need your saliva to carry essential minerals to your teeth and to keep levels of acidity low.
Rinse after you eat and especially after you eat acidic foods. You should also rinse before you brush but after you floss. If you use mouthwash, it will clean your mouth, reduce bacteria levels, and get rid of loose food particles. You can then brush, letting the toothpaste remain in your mouth and work its magic.
Don’t Eat Candy
Even if you brush immediately after eating, candy can still harm your teeth. It becomes lodged in-between teeth and it triggers the release of harmful acidic compounds that wear your enamel down.
A few pieces of candy every now and then won’t do any harm, especially if you rinse and brush afterward, but excessive consumption will gradually wear down your teeth.
If you’re eating hard candies, you should also refrain from chewing them, as they can crack and chip your teeth.
Get Frequent Checkups
Last but not least, one of the best habits you can adopt is to get your teeth checked regularly and to visit your dentist as soon as you have an issue, whether it’s a pain, a sensitivity, a chip, or a crack.
The longer you leave it, the more harm you will do, and the more regrets you’ll have several years down the line when the pain intensifies, and the cost inflates.