Basic Habits and Lifestyle Choices That Lead to Healthy Teeth and Gums

Basic Habits and Lifestyle Choices That Lead to Healthy Teeth and Gums
Posted on 03/01/2018

Healthy teeth don't happen by accident. Many people must make specific lifestyle choices and develop good habits that can help them keep their teeth healthy. Knowing the best way to floss, brush, and care for your teeth can help you avoid dental problems like cavities.

Use Best Practices When Brushing

Fluoride improves the tooth's resistance to plaque, bacteria, and sugar in the mouth. To ensure that you're getting your share of fluoride, buy toothpaste that contains fluoride. Use as little water as possible when rinsing the toothpaste out of your mouth. This helps ensure that some fluoride will stay in your mouth for a while after brushing.

Reports show that 30 percent of people in the United States don't brush enough. Brushing twice daily can help prevent plaque buildup and stains. Brush your teeth when you wake up in the morning and before going to bed at night. 

Many people also fail to brush properly, by brushing their teeth too hard or by failing to reach the hard to reach spots in their teeth. Using an electric toothbrush can help keep the teeth clean and prevent tartar buildup. If you have a hard time reaching certain areas of your mouth, then an angled toothbrush could help.

Ask your dentist for a tooth brushing lesson every time you go in for a visit. Your dentist can show you best practices that will help you keep your teeth healthy. 

Floss with Non-Pick Flossers

Pick-style floss has become very popular in recent years because they are easy to use. Unfortunately, picks can be problematic for a variety of reasons. Pick-style flossing sticks can be hard on sensitive gums, causing damage. These flossing sticks can also pick up bacteria from one part of the mouth and deposit it in another because the same segment of floss is used in the entire mouth. 

To ensure that your teeth are getting flossed properly every night, switch to thread-style floss. Get a lesson from your dentist to ensure that you're flossing properly. They can show you best-practice methods for flossing your teeth.

Swish With Water After Meals

Water helps wash away crumbs and food after you're finished eating. Drink a lot of water after meals to help clean out the mouth. If you're not in the mood to drink water, you can also swish water and spit into a sink. 

Use Straws at the Right Time

Drinking from a straw when consuming sugary juices and drinks can help the juice bypass your teeth without exposing the enamel. Use a straw when drinking sodas and similar beverages. 

When drinking water or non-sugary sparkling water, set the straw aside. Drinking water without a straw can encourage the swishing action that washes away crumbs.

Eat Right

The foods you eat (and don't eat) can have a big effect on the health of your teeth. Most foods contain carbohydrates. However, foods that have a high sugar content like candy have a higher carbohydrate content than many other foods. Limit your intake of candy. 

When choosing foods to eat, focus on foods from the five basic food groups. Fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy are the best foods for your teeth. These foods contain nutrients that can strengthen your teeth and help your gums resist infection. 

Don't forget that breads contain a lot of carbohydrates. If you consume many bready-foods, then brush and floss afterward. Additionally, limit snacking. Snacks tend to contain sugary foods that are bad for your teeth. In addition, the mouth produces less saliva during snacks as during big meals. Since saliva helps keep your teeth and gums healthy, eating foods at your normal meals is best for your teeth. 

Stop Smoking

Smoking and using tobacco can cause many problems in your mouth, from stains to bad breath. Smoking can also reduce the function of the immune system, which can in turn lead to periodontal disease. Patients who do not manage their periodontal disease can eventually lose their teeth. 

One of the best ways to protect your teeth from these problems is to never start smoking. However, if you're a smoker, quitting can help improve dental problems you might be having. If you're not sure how to stop smoking, talk to your doctor. They can make recommendations that can make the process easier.

See the Dentist Regularly

Visiting the dentist on a regular basis is one of the best ways to keep your teeth healthy. During a normal visit, your dentist will remove plaque, check for signs of dental disease and make recommendations for treatment. See your dentist twice annually unless he or she instructs otherwise. 

At Treasured Smiles Dentistry, LLC, we're happy to answer patient questions about lifestyle choices and habits that can help them take care of their teeth. Contact us today with questions.