Oral health is more than a twice-a-day regime. Just like with your overall health, your oral health is a way of life. It involves the things you put into your mouth, how you protect your mouth, and how well you clean it. Here are three ways to change your habits to improve your oral health.
Limit Sugary Foods
You already know that sugary foods aren’t good for your body. You also know that they aren’t good for your teeth. But why? Sugar works in harmony with the bacteria that is in your mouth. When you eat sugar, this bacteria produces a powerful acid that eats away at the enamel of your teeth. Whenever you eat sugar, you are inadvertently feeding this bacteria, allowing it to grow and form the filmy layer of plaque that coats your teeth. While the calcium and phosphate in your saliva, as well as the fluoride in your water and toothpaste, work continuously to neutralize this acid, eating too much sugar can cause the bacteria to outnumber your defenses and cavities will form.
Clean Your Teeth
It is vital to clean your teeth, not simply brush them. Why the distinction? Brushing your teeth doesn’t necessarily get them as clean as they need to be for good oral health. You must brush them correctly at least two times a day, floss them daily, and have them professionally cleaned by a dental hygienist twice per year. To brush correctly, the American Dental Association recommends using a soft-bristled brush and brushing each surface, including in front, under, and behind your teeth. Placing your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, brush using short, gentle strokes. You should brush for two full minutes, giving attention to each quadrant of your teeth.
Drink More Water
Simply drinking more water can improve your oral health and help prevent cavities and gum disease. Drinking water dilutes the acid that eats away at your enamel and causes cavities. It also keeps bacteria at bay. Water also helps to keep the proper amount of saliva in your mouth. When your mouth gets dry, bacteria and acid get a free-for-all, left unchecked by your saliva. Finally, drinking fluoridated water can restore your enamel, strengthen your teeth, and fight tooth decay.
You only get one set of adult teeth in a lifetime. Your teeth are designed to last, but it is up to you to ensure that they do. With a healthy diet, good oral hygiene habits, and drinking plenty of water, you can keep your smile beautiful and bright for life!
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