Since this April is Oral Health Month, there’s no better way to celebrate than taking the time to learn how to best take care of your smile. Every day you may get up and do the same routine of brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash, but there are other ways you can prevent cavities and plaque buildup. This month, help out your mouth by learning about and incorporating these 3 new ways to take care of your oral health.
Change Up Your Diet
You may not have considered that what you snack on can have serious impacts on your oral health, but good nutrition has the potential to make or break your smile. Considering that everything you eat comes into contact with your mouth, it’s no surprise that sugary foods and drinks like candy and soda can lead to a laundry list of problems. These can turn your mouth into a bacterial breeding ground if you don’t keep up with brushing and flossing.
It’s not only sugary foods that you’ll need to stay away from, but acidic and stain-causing foods can also dull your smile and cause enamel corrosion. When this happens, your teeth and gums become more susceptible to developing cavities and infections. Some foods and drinks to try to avoid include:
- Excessive amounts of citrus
- Potato chips
- Sticky foods like dried fruit
- Sports drinks
Instead, try substituting dairy products that are white in color, greens, raisins, strawberries, and fibrous vegetables to help keep your smile bright and healthy. These foods not only help to scrub your teeth of plaque and tartar, but they also have enamel-strengthening and teeth-whitening properties.
Avoid Bad Oral Habits
Certain habits can put your oral health at risk. Some habits to avoid include:
- Smoking or chewing tobacco are common risk factors in developing serious issues such as gum disease and oral cancer. Using tobacco is one of the most destructive habits for your mouth and can result in tooth loss and rapid oral decay.
- Brushing too hard may cause serious damage to your gums. While it’s good to brush twice a day, aggressive brushing can erode tooth enamel and aggravate your gums as well as cause them to bleed. Using a soft bristled toothbrush is a good way to make sure you’re not brushing too hard and reduce the impact on your gums.
- Crunching ice is something you may not even notice you do. Unfortunately, it puts your teeth at risk of cracking or chipping and can leave them more susceptible to decay. Your teeth aren’t meant to be used as tools, so constant crunching can have a massive impact on your oral health.
Quitting bad habits can do wonders for protecting your teeth. Don’t wait for a dental emergency to make important changes for your dental health.
Visit Your Dentist For Your Semi-Annual Checkups and Cleanings
It’s recommended that you see your dentist once every 6 months for a checkup and cleaning. During your appointment your dentist will remove all the hardened plaque and tartar that you couldn’t get off by brushing and flossing at home. They’ll use special tools that help remove surface stains and food debris to make sure your smile stays healthy and happy.
During this routine visit, your dentist will also perform an oral cancer screening and inspect for issues like cavities and infected gums. The first symptoms of deadly illnesses like oral cancer can appear in your mouth, so going to your regular appointments can protect your overall health and quality of life.
Making a few simple tweaks to your day-to-day routine can give you a lifetime of great oral health. Instead of waiting for small dental problems to form into large ones, tackle them while they’re still manageable and take care of that bright smile!
About the Author
Dr. Derek Cornetta aims to make everybody’s visit to his practice enjoyable and helpful. He values forming long-lasting relationships with his patients and even cares for multiple generations of the same families! He emphasizes providing unique individualized care to everybody that walks through his doors. For any questions or to schedule an appointment at Woodside Dental Care, visit his website or contact 508-644-5200.