5 Habits to Keep Your Smile Healthy
Do you want your natural teeth to stay healthy and beautiful for life? Do you want to avoid the pain of tooth decay and gum disease — not to mention the need for costly and invasive restorative procedures?
Of course you do. And you can.
Taking care of your smile is not difficult with the right knowledge and and a little commitment. And the payoff is lifelong dental health. Adopt the following good dental habits and call Gilbart Dental Care for a cleaning and exam. We have two MD offices for your convenience: Frederick at 240-513-7523 and Hagerstown at 240-347-0910.
Habit #1: Proper Brushing & Flossing
Good oral hygiene is a foundation for healthy teeth and gums. You only visit us twice a year, so brushing and flossing are essential for keeping your mouth clean day to day.
- You should brush twice every day for two minutes at a time.
- Brush the fronts, chewing surfaces, and the backs of the teeth thoroughly. Keep the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
- Be gentle! Brushing with too much pressure actually backfires, wearing down your enamel and making you vulnerable to sensitivity and decay. It can also damage your gums tissue.
- Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Never medium- or hard-bristled!
- Use short back-and-forth or circular strokes.
- Once those bristles begin to fray — or every few months — toss your toothbrush for a new one.
- Your tongue harbors bacteria that can cause bad breath and disease. So give that a brush too!
- You should floss daily (plus when you feel something stuck in your teeth, of course). It doesn’t matter when you do it, just that you pick a time when you can devote a couple of minutes.
- Use about eighteen inches of floss and wind it around your fingers, leaving about two inches in the middle.
- Keep the floss taut against the teeth, go up and down between each tooth, and gently clean under the gumline. Use a fresh section of floss for each tooth.
Habit #2: Regular Dental Visits
We want to see you in one of our comfy dental chairs at least two times every year. Even if you are an oral hygiene superstar at home (which we know you are!) regular dental cleanings and exams are important.
We will perform a thorough oral examination of your mouth, looking for early signs of gum disease, tooth decay, oral cancer, and other problems
We will take digital X-rays and panoramic images, which enable us to see problems not visible to the naked eye.
We will also give you a thorough professional cleaning, removing plaque and tartar that even the best brushing at home can’t reach. At Gilbart Dental Care, your cleaning will be done by a hygienist or one of our doctors. We love getting to know our patients!
Habit #3: Load Up on Nutritious Food
Strong, healthy teeth need calcium. This mineral must be replenished continuously through the food we eat. Milk and other dairy products are excellent sources for calcium, as are leafy greens. Leafy green vegetables are also packed with folic acid, which is good for gum health.
Avoid chewy sweets like fruit roll-ups, soft granola bars, or dried fruit. These get lodged in the grooves of the teeth, causing bacteria to proliferate and generate harmful acids that wear down your enamel.
If you’re craving a snack, choose a low-carb option like cut up veggies, an apple, or a handful of nuts.
Habit #4: Drink Water
Soft drinks, sodas, and sports drinks are terrible for your teeth, especially if you routinely drink them throughout the day. They coat your mouth in sugar, feeding colonies of bacteria that generate harmful acids. Diet soft drinks aren’t much better, as their high acid content will damage your teeth.
Get into the habit of quenching your thirst with water. Water keeps your entire body hydrated and your mouth clean. It rinses away bacteria and food particles, and dilutes dangerous acids.
Habit #5: Chew Sugarless Gum
The key word here is “sugarless.” Regular gum is damaging to your oral health due to its high sugar content. Sugarless gum, on the other hand, promotes the production of cleansing saliva without the damaging sugar. If you don’t have access to a toothbrush during the day, chewing sugar-free gum is a great way to help keep your mouth clean.
Pick up these good dental habits and you have a excellent chance of keeping your smile healthy for life. If you need to get your next dental checkup in the books, call either one of Gilbart Dental Care’s two MD offices. Dial 240-513-7523 for Frederick or 240-347-0910 for Hagerstown. We also have an online contact form.