5 Dental Care Tips To Improve Your Teeth
Do you know that your smile can work wonders? Around 61% of adults agree that they're drawn to somebody’s smile and find them attractive. A smile is an accessory that never goes out of trend. No matter how messy you look, a beautiful smile instantly enhances your personality. Though your smile impacts your appearance, its significance lies beyond aesthetics.
Your smile showcases your teeth and oral well-being. Healthy teeth not only let you enjoy your favorite delicacies but also play a crucial role in metabolism. The digestion of your food starts as soon as you chew your food. Hence, your teeth are essential for your overall well-being as well.
Connection Between Oral Health And Physical health
You would be surprised to know that your oral health provides a window to your overall health. Some dental conditions can affect your body. And some physical problems can be indicated by your oral health. Your mouth contains several bacteria, and most of them are harmless. Since your mouth is the beginning of the respiratory and digestive system, some bacteria may cause infections. With a proper oral care routine that includes brushing, flossing, and rinsing, you can get rid of harmful bacteria. But, if you don't take dental hygiene seriously, it can lead to tooth decay, infections, and gum diseases.
The saliva in your mouth counterbalances the acids formed and washes away the food particles. Medicines such as painkillers and antidepressants reduce the flow of saliva in your mouth. Without proper care, it can damage the tooth enamel and multiply the bacteria in your mouth. In conditions like periodontitis, which is an infection in gums, the tissues become inflamed. This inflammation may promote other physical ailments such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease, etc. And if you have existing health problems, your resistance lowers down. Your oral health problems can become worse.
Poor dental health can lead to several physical conditions. Some of them are as follows:
The risk of developing heart diseases increases with severe gum diseases. Research suggests that oral infections and inflammation due to bacteria may result in the clogging of arteries.
With poor oral health, the bacteria from your mouth spread through your bloodstream infect the inner lining of your heart chambers. This infection affects the valves of your heart.
The bacteria from your gum diseases can be drawn into your lungs. It may result in respiratory diseases such as pneumonia. If you already have chronic diseases such as asthma, your oral problems can increase inflammation and worsen the condition.
The bacteria that cause inflammation in your gums can travel through your bloodstream. In pregnant women, this bacteria can affect the fetus and lead to premature labor and low birth weight of the babies.
While dental problems affect your body and may result in physical ailments, some diseases impact your oral health. Some diseases have poor oral health as their symptoms. Diseases such as diabetes lower down your resistance to fight oral infections. Other diseases that impact oral health are HIV-AIDS and Alzheimer's disease.
Healthy Teeth And Their Benefits
Your teeth and gums tell you a lot about your oral health and dental hygiene. To find out if you have healthy teeth or not, look out for the following:
Your gums play a vital role in keeping your teeth healthy. The color of your gums should be pink. They shouldn't be white or red. Glide your finger along your gums after washing your hands. If they feel firm and you don't experience any pain, your gums indicate that they are healthy. Also, observe your tongue and the inside of your cheeks. It should also be firm and pink. As saliva constantly flows and removes food particles stuck in your teeth, your mouth should be moist.
If any of your permanent teeth become loose, it can indicate gum disease. You should visit your dentist at the earliest if your teeth are loose. The same goes with your crowns or dental fillings. Over time, the teeth restoration solutions such as dental bridges and implants may displace and house several kinds of bacteria and plaque. Regular visits to your dentist will enable you to diagnose any problems and treat them on time.
Toothpaste and mouthwashes can freshen your breath, but the natural smell of your mouth isn't minty. A healthy mouth smells neutral. A foul odor can indicate hidden pockets of bacteria or dental conditions such as tooth decay. While flossing your teeth, an unpleasant smell could be an early sign of gum disease.
When you brush and floss your teeth, look in the mirror and the sink for blood. If your teeth and gums are healthy, they won't bleed regularly. If you see blood while brushing, you shouldn't ignore it and consult your dentist. The most common cause for bleeding is the building up of plaque along your gum line. Brushing hard and using too much force can also lead to bleeding gums.
There are so many benefits of having a healthy set of teeth. Caring for your teeth well minimizes the bacteria that cause bad breath. Having a foul odor in your breath can affect your self-confidence and the ability to form connections at the workplace or in social spaces. With healthy teeth and a clean mouth, you get the confidence to smile.
When you have healthy teeth, there are fewer chances of developing tooth decay. With proper oral hygiene, your teeth are less vulnerable to bacteria that convert food particles into acids. Hence, it helps to prevent dental conditions such as cavities and periodontitis in the long term. Keeping your teeth clean prevents the bacteria in your mouth from getting into your bloodstream. These bacteria may travel to the lungs and heart and increase the chances of inflammatory diseases.
Caring for your teeth, brushing twice a day, flossing, and visiting dental clinics is way cheaper than getting dental treatments such as fillings, tooth extractions, implants, etc. If you don't want to spend a large amount of money on dental procedures in the future, it is best to start prioritizing oral hygiene.
On average, a person brushes for only 45-70 seconds in a day. However, dentists recommend brushing for 2-3 minutes. To ensure good oral health, brushing your teeth is a must. Whether you use an electric toothbrush or a plastic toothbrush, make sure that it has soft bristles. Using a harsh toothbrush can harm your teeth and cause sensitivity. It is also essential that you use the correct brushing technique to clean your teeth. One effective method is placing the toothbrush at an angle of 45 degrees against your teeth. Then starting from the gums, you should brush towards the edge in circular movements. Make sure that you clean all the surfaces of the teeth, including the chewing surface of the upper and lower sets. Though you should apply a gentle force while brushing, avoid scrubbing your teeth as it causes irritation and harms the enamel.
Brush your teeth in the morning and at night just before sleeping. Many people tend to skip brushing at night. But the rate of tooth decay is much higher at night. During the day, our tongue keeps on moving while cleaning our teeth and mouth. And antibacterial saliva rinses our mouth and washes away the stuck food particles. During the night, the movement of the tongue and the production of saliva are limited. Hence the bacteria in our mouth multiply and cause dental problems such as cavities and tooth decay. To ensure healthy teeth and sound dental health, make sure that you brush well at night too.
Another crucial factor that most people ignore is the toothpaste that you use. You must use toothpaste that contains fluoride. When you brush with fluoride toothpaste, it gets absorbed in your teeth over time. It makes your teeth stronger and protects them against tooth decay and cavities. You should also avoid harsh toothpaste, such as the ones containing charcoal, as it can harm the structure of your teeth. No doubt brushing is essential to ensure healthy teeth. But you should also consider the technique of brushing and the toothpaste that you use.
Flossing helps in getting rid of bacteria, plaque, and food particles stuck in between your teeth. It cleans your teeth and protects you from tooth decay and gum diseases. Many people brush their teeth daily, but not everyone flosses every day. Irrespective of how flossing is crucial for our oral health, around 20 % of Americans never floss their teeth at all.
It isn't sufficient to floss unless you do it with the correct technique. Improper flossing routines can damage your gums and teeth. If you wear braces, flossing can be even more tricky. Go for waxed floss so that it can glide smoothly over your teeth. If you wear braces, go for other options such as a floss threader or a water pick, as it can save you time. It is recommended that you first floss and then brush your teeth. Flossing removes the food particles and plaque stuck in your teeth, and brushing will eliminate these particles from your mouth. If you brush first and floss later, the food particles remain in your mouth. Along with brushing twice a day, you should brush at least once daily.
There are several types of dental floss. Depending on your preference and the space between your teeth, you can choose your floss. If you wear braces or have gaps between your teeth, you can go for dental tape. It is broad and flat like tape, which makes it easy to use and handle. If your teeth are close to each other and crowded, you can go from standard nylon floss. It is a thin strand that can easily fit between tightly spaced gaps. If it's inconvenient for you to use regular flosses, you can choose electric or water floss. You can also choose water floss if you wear braces. It uses water pressure to remove food particles and plaque stuck in your teeth. It can also clean between the wires and brackets of the braces. You can also go for disposable floss picks. They are easy to use and can easily clean the hard-to-reach places in your mouth.
To ensure that your teeth and gums are best in health, make sure that you include mouth rinsing in your daily routine. The purpose of using mouthwash is beyond freshening the breath. It reduces plaque and prevents tooth decay and gum diseases.
Though mouth washing isn't a replacement for brushing and flossing, it ensures proper cleaning when you don't brush or floss properly. Using mouthwash regularly not only keeps your teeth safe but also whitens them. In case when you have other dental conditions like bleeding gums or bad breath, your dentist will prescribe you a
specific and strong mouth rinse than the one you regularly use.
Mouthwash contains fluoride, which protects your teeth and prevents tooth decay and cavities. It contains antimicrobials that kill all the bacteria that cause bad breath, plaque, and tooth decay. It also prevents gingivitis which is an early stage of gum disease. The odor neutralizers and astringent salt in a mouth rinse eliminate the cause of bad breath and temporarily cover it. And the whiteners in the mouthwash remove the stains from your teeth and make them whiter. All these ingredients make the mouthwash a complete solution for that extra care for your teeth.
Sometimes, you may not find a mouth rinse that tackles all your dental problems. In such a case, you should select a product based on your priority. The products having the recommendation from the American Dental Association are good to go. The instructions for using the mouth rinse are always mentioned on the product container. However, it is recommended to swish for 30-60 seconds with mouthwash. Less than 30 seconds isn't sufficient, and more than 60 seconds is more than enough. It may take a few weeks for your mouthwash to deliver results, but you need to be patient. The earlier you start to use mouthwash in your dental care routine, the better it is for your oral health.
When you eat sugary and starchy foods, you also feed them to the bacteria and germs in your mouth. Your teeth have a thin and sticky film of bacteria known as plaque. When this plaque combines with the sugary food that you eat, it forms acids. These start attacking the surface of your teeth that damages the enamel. It leads to tooth decay. The plaque in the bacteria also causes inflammation resulting in gum diseases and breakdown of the tooth structure.
While some food items create problems for your oral well-being, others prevent the buildup of plaque. Here are some food items full of goodness that you should include in your diet.
Fiber-rich food items keep your teeth and gums clean. They also enable the flow of saliva. Saliva contains traces of phosphate and calcium naturally. Hence, it restores the lost minerals and washes away the bacteria. Eating fiber-rich food provides a natural defense against tooth decay and gum infections. Fruits and vegetables, rich in fiber, reduce the effect of acids that damage your teeth.
Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt produce saliva. They also contain calcium and phosphates and replenish the minerals lost by your teeth. Dairy products also restore the enamel that is the hard protective coating over your teeth.
Green and black tea contain polyphenols that kill the bacteria present in the plaque. It not only prevents the growth of bacteria but also protects your teeth from acid attacks. If you use tap water or fluoridated water to make your cup of tea, you can also get fluoride that strengthens the teeth.
Food items and drinks prepared with fluoridated water help protect your teeth. Powdered and dehydrated soups and juices that don't contain too much sugar could be a good source of fluoride. Other sources of fluoride are commercially prepared food items such as poultry products and seafood.
Now you know what is good for your teeth. Here are the food items that you should avoid eating.
If you're fond of eating sweets, you should choose the ones that you can finish quickly. Avoid eating sticky candies and sweets containing refined sugar, such as caramels, cough drops, and lollipops.
Food rich in starch can get stuck in your mouth and encourage the production of bacteria and plaque. Hence avoid food items such as chips and bread that can get trapped in between your teeth.
Carbonated soft drinks contain a lot of added sugar and are widely consumed by children and teens. Soft not only affects children physically but also causes harm to their oral health. These sugary drinks boost the production of acids in the mouth and destroy the enamel of teeth.
Consumption of alcohol dries out the mouth and limits the flow of saliva. Certain medicines can also lead to the drying of your mouth. If you are on any such medications, consult your dentist and get a fluoride rinse for your teeth.
The American Dental Association provides the following tips that help to minimize the risk of tooth decay while you eat.
- If you want to eat sugary foods, eat them with your meals. Since your mouth produces more saliva during meals, it reduces the impact of acids on teeth.
- Avoid munching. Limit the snacks that you eat between the meals. Even if you want to eat something, choose nutritious food items. You can chew sugar-free gums after eating to increase the flow of saliva.
- Drinking water has lots of benefits. It washes away the food particles, encourages the production of saliva, and also contains fluoride.
Routine dental checkups are essential to ensure dental well-being. It is advised that you should have a regular dental visit every six months. When you visit your dentist, you undergo dental examination and cleaning. During the checkup, your dentist will look for any signs of tooth decay. With thorough examination that may include taking X-rays, your dentist will detect cavities, plaque, and tartar on your teeth. Though you can remove plaque by brushing, the removal of tartar requires professional dental cleaning.
The dentist will also check your gums with the help of special tools that measure the depth between your gums and teeth. Shallow spaces indicate healthy teeth. But if you have deeper spaces, it can be a sign of gum disease.
After a thorough checkup, your teeth will be cleaned during the dental visit. If you have tartar, your dental professional will use special instruments to remove it. The process of removing plaque and tartar is called scaling. Scaling is followed by polishing. The dental professional uses a granular paste to remove yellow stains from teeth. The last step would be flossing, which will make sure that your mouth is super clean. Dental visits are crucial, but it doesn't mean that you shouldn't care for your teeth at home. Make sure that you take care of your oral health between your regular dental visits.
The thought of visiting a dental clinic can make you a little nervous. Whether it is the anxiety of sitting on the chair or the embarrassment of showing your teeth, you need to visit your dentist to ensure your oral well-being. Find the best dentist in south Jersey that makes you feel comfortable and convey your problem to the dentist. You can ask your friends and relatives for referrals and read about the experiences of people online. Don't hold yourself back and discuss any dental problem that you have. The more you connect with your dentist, the better they can help you.
At Jackson Dental, we have a team of highly skilled and experienced dental professionals. Our cozy clinical setting makes you comfortable, and patient-centric care ensures your oral well-being. Whether it's a routine dental checkup or a treatment procedure, rest assured to receive the best care. We prioritize you and your dental health over everything. Get the best dental care services for you and your family. Consult us for your subsequent oral examination.
Ensuring healthy teeth doesn't require only a single action. It is a long-term process that includes multiple habits followed daily. Brushing, flossing, and rinsing are necessary to keep your mouth clean. It is equally essential to follow a proper diet and visit your dentist regularly. If you develop healthy dental habits today, you will have good oral health in the long term. You will also inspire your family members to follow the same. Start caring for your teeth from today to work towards getting your perfect smile forever.