If you brush your teeth daily and they look nice and white, you must be doing a good job, right? Wrong! Oral hygiene is so important to your overall health that properly taking care of your teeth is a must. But, how do you know you’re doing a good job? These dental do’s and don’ts will pave the way to healthy teeth and a healthy life.
DO make sure you use the right kind of toothbrush. A good toothbrush has a head that’s small enough to access every area of your teeth and gums – generally for adults, an effective size is a half-inch wide and one-inch tall. Another important aspect are the bristles, which can be soft, medium or hard. Soft is usually the most comfortable and effective choice, especially if you’re prone to vigorous brushing.
DON’T brush too hard or too often. Even though it makes sense, brushing more than twice a day and strongly does not make your teeth shine brighter. Instead, it can cause gum recession and damage the root surfaces of your teeth. Stick to a gentle, but firm morning and night routine, and don’t forget to also floss to remove trapped food particles and bacteria.
DO inform your periodontist if you notice any bleeding gums or lumps, bumps or ulcers. Although it can be harmless, these changes in your mouth can also be early warning signs for diseases. Be sure to let your dentist know when you notice anything suspicious, such as bleeding, pain, sensitivity, discoloration, sores, lumps or anything out of the ordinary.
DON’T adopt negative oral health habits. Borrowing your spouse’s toothbrush every once and awhile may seem innocent, but exposing each other to bacteria intimately can contribute to an increased risk of infections, periodontal diseases and more. Other bad habits include using tobacco products, consuming excessive amounts of alcohol, snacking on sugary foods and chewing on pencils or fingernails.
DO use fluoride toothpaste. Research has consistently proven that fluoride toothpaste not only helps prevent cavities, but it can also repair tooth enamel. However, it’s important to note to only use it as directed.
DON’T forget to drink plenty of water. Keeping your mouth moist is vital to preventing plaque build-up, which can result in tooth decay and gum disease. Water also helps promote saliva, which not only buffers acids, but also aids digestion and fights germs.
Above all else, DO make sure you visit a professional at least twice a year. Periodontists can ensure your teeth are clean, healthy, and in your mouth for many years! W