Caring for Your Teeth and Gums: Strategies and Suggestions
Proper oral hygiene is paramount in maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Neglecting this can lead to gum disease or dental decay, causing pain, impacting self-confidence, and potentially resulting in tooth loss. Such problems can cause malnutrition, and speech difficulties, and may affect a person’s work, academic performance, or personal life.
Fortunately, these issues can be avoided through regular dental care both at home and in the dentist’s office. Here are some essential techniques to ensure the health of your teeth and gums.
Regular Tooth Brushing
While most people know that brushing twice a day is essential for removing plaque and bacteria, and keeping teeth clean, its effectiveness depends on using the correct technique.
Ensure thorough cleaning of the front, back, and top surfaces of each tooth by brushing in small, circular motions. This process should take about two to three minutes.
It’s important to avoid excessively vigorous brushing or using a toothbrush with hard bristles, as this may damage the gums and tooth enamel.
Flossing helps remove plaque and bacteria from between teeth, where a toothbrush may not reach. It also helps clear trapped food and debris, preventing bad breath.
Many dental professionals, including those specializing in Cosmetic Dentistry, Teeth Whitening, and Gum Cleaning, recommend gently guiding the floss down to the gum line before moving it up and down along the side of the tooth. It’s crucial to avoid snapping the floss between the teeth as this can cause discomfort and reduce its effectiveness in removing plaque.
Smoking weakens the immune system, making it harder for tissues, including those in the mouth to heal. Smokers have a higher risk of developing gum disease, and dental treatments may not recover fully in some cases.
Smoking also changes oral aesthetics by yellowing the teeth and tongue and can lead to bad breath.
Limiting Sugary Foods
High sugar consumption can lead to cavities. Sweets and pastries are common culprits, but many processed foods also contain added sugar.
Experts suggest that starchy foods like crackers, bread, chips, and pasta could contribute to dental decay. These foods linger in the mouth and break down into simple sugars, which are then utilized by acid-producing bacteria. This acid can result in tooth decay.
In place of starchy foods, Montgomery Family & Cosmetic Dentistry recommends consuming plenty of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, as well as dairy products without added sugar.
Choosing Water Over Sugar-Rich Drinks
Beverages with added sugars are a significant source of added sugars in the diet and can lead to cavities. Health professionals suggest limiting the intake of sugary drinks and opting for water or unsweetened tea instead.
Maintaining healthy teeth and gums hinges on practicing good oral hygiene. This not only reduces the likelihood of various dental issues but also contributes to overall health.