Taking care of your teeth and gums should be a practice that lasts a lifetime. Good oral hygiene as part of a daily routine can help ensure a healthy smile. While your daily routine should obviously include brushing and flossing, you can promote good oral health in other ways too. Here are five ways to ensure good dental practice for life.
1. Communicate With Your Dentist
While you visit the dentist for routine cleanings or necessary dental work, have a chat about your overall oral health. If you have concerns, discuss them with your dental professional. Don't wait for a problem to arise before you seek answers.
Knowledge is power, therefore you need to know about the condition of your teeth, gums, and mouth. You can also request an oral cancer screening. The oral cancer screening is a test that is performed at the dental office.
In addition, tell your dentist about any issues you are currently experiencing. Informing your dentist about issues you have been experiencing helps the dentist to pinpoint the problem before it escalates into something more serious. For instance, if you have experienced swollen or bleeding gums, you should communicate this to the dentist. Swollen or bleeding gums could indicate early signs of periodontal disease.
2. Be Mindful of Your Toothbrush
You probably are aware that you need to change your toothbrush every few months or after you have been ill. However, you have another aspect to consider regarding the toothbrush you use. Assuming you have an old-fashioned manual toothbrush rather than an electric model, pay attention to the bristle type.
Most toothbrushes are available in a selection of hard, medium, and soft bristles. If you have sensitive gums of teeth, ditch the hard bristle type. Hard bristles tend to be harsh on teeth and gums.
Over time, hard bristles may also wear down enamel. Medium bristles may be fine if your mouth is not overly sensitive, but you may find the soft bristles are gentler and do an equally good job of cleaning.
3. Protect Your Teeth and Gums While Playing Sports
You may think mouth guards are only necessary for playing rough contact sports, but this is not entirely the case. If you participate in sports, wearing a mouth guard may protect you from injury to your gums and teeth.
Consider your sports activities. Do you enjoy mountain biking? Without a mouth guard, you could damage your teeth if you have a bike accident. The same holds true for sports such as baseball, soccer, skateboarding, and water sports.
You can purchase a ready-made mouth guard at many pharmacies or sporting goods stores. Alternatively, ask your dentist about creating a custom fit mouth guard for you.
4. Quit Smoking Cigarettes or Chewing Tobacco
If you smoke or chew tobacco, consider quitting as of now. Not only does smoking or chewing tobacco stain or yellow the teeth, but according to the American Dental Association, tobacco use may also contribute to gum disease and oral cancer.
5. Stay Hydrated
If you suffer from dry mouth or take certain medications, drinking adequate water each day is a must. Without proper hydration, excess bacteria may develop in the mouth, which in turn may lead to tooth decay. In severe cases, your dentist may recommend an artificial saliva product. These products may be purchased at supermarkets or pharmacies to help avoid tooth problems.
Keep the above tips in mind for good dental health that will last a lifetime. If you have further questions or concerns, consult with your dentist. We can give you more tips to keep your mouth healthy and clean.