When it comes to taking care of your mouth and teeth, you know what they say: There’s no time like the present. The year is still young and you may or may not have kept the promises you made to yourself. Either way, you can start a new dental care routine today to build good habits for years to come.
You hear the same question every time you visit the dentist: "Have you been flossing?" The truth is, your dentist can tell. Flossing clears out sticky bacteria, or plaque, from between your teeth, where brushing can’t reach. Plaque causes cavities, can irritate gums and can lead to gum disease.
One of the best things you can do for your teeth is to floss regularly. It will keep your teeth looking healthier, it will keep your gums healthy, and it can help you keep your teeth, giving you a smile that’s all your own.
Flossing once a day and brushing your teeth at least twice a day is recommended by dentists. Brushing does a great job of keeping your teeth clean, but to get the most from brushing your teeth, it’s important you do it the correct way. Here are some helpful brushing tips from WebMD:
- Use fluoride toothpaste with tartar control. It helps strengthen your teeth and slows the growth of nasty bacteria.
- Use a soft-bristled or electric toothbrush that’s small enough to reach all parts of your mouth.
- Brush at a 45-degree angle to your gum line. Use small circular movements without scrubbing. Brushing too hard can hurt your gums and wear away the protective coating of your teeth called enamel.
- Brush your tongue from the back to the front. Bacteria lives on your tongue, too, so brushing your tongue helps your breath stay fresh and keeps your whole mouth clean.
Eat Your Way to Better Mouth Health
What goes into your mouth is a big part of keeping it healthy. Stay away from sticky, sugary, or sweet foods. Sugar can eat away at the outer layer of your teeth. The sooner you get it off your teeth the better. Sugar-free chewing gum is a great way to clear your mouth of those bad-for-you sugars. Other great sugar busting foods are cheeses, peanuts, yogurt, and milk.
If you eat before bed, make sure you brush before you lie down. Leaving tiny bits of food on your teeth overnight helps bacteria grow and can cause problems like cavities and gum disease.
A healthy mouth can lead to a healthier you. So get into a healthy brushing and flossing routine. It’s enough to make you and your dentist smile.