You may not have the perfect teeth you’d like at the moment. Good oral health seems to be a constantly-evolving process that isn’t ever really “perfect” in many people’s eyes. However, there are things you can start doing right now that will improve the health of your teeth and overall oral hygiene.
No matter what you’ve heard lately, it’s important to keep flossing. Do it every night, especially after a big meal and especially if you have braces. You may have heard about studies that found flossing was not effective or necessary in maintaining oral health. However, both the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say you should still floss. They say those studies were flawed by participants who said they flossed more than they really did.
Brushing alone cannot get into those between-the-teeth spaces to get rid of bacteria that can lead to gingivitis. In fact, flossing gets at least four times deeper into the gums than brushing ever can.
Stop Drinking Soda
Now’s as good a time as any to kick the soda habit. Even if you drink diet soda, all that acid is eroding your tooth enamel, which you can never get back once it’s gone. Cola and ginger ale are the worst culprits when it comes to high sources of sugar. Sugar, as you know, causes cavities — so you’re doing a double disservice to your teeth by drinking that fizzy stuff. If you absolutely must have a glass of soda, brush your teeth afterwards or at least drink water.
Easier said than done, right? But if you ever want to see those pearly whites again, you’ll nix the tobacco. That’s because smoking coats your teeth with a yellow hue, which is bad enough. However, the nicotine and tar in cigarettes are gradually eating away at your gums, making your mouth a breeding ground for bacteria and plaque, says WebMD. By harming your gums, you’re increasing your risk of future tooth loss as well as mouth sores that can result in oral cancer.
Start Brushing Right
If your brushing technique doesn’t seem to be effective, you’ll have to switch it up. If you’re at a loss, ask your dentist next time you have a visit how you can brush more effectively. Devote at least two minutes to cleaning your teeth and gums. Any less than that and you’re not putting in enough attention to each tooth. Make sure your brush is angled 45 degrees toward your gum line, then use circular strokes very gently. Are the bristles bending? You’re working it too hard. Because plaque is relatively soft, you can get it off your teeth with some gentle brushing.
Stay Current on Your Six-Month Visits
Take a look at your calendar. Do you have a six-month cleaning scheduled? If not, call your dentist today to book your appointment. One of the easiest ways to take care of your teeth is to visit the dentist twice a year — at least.