Teeth do not look after themselves and, while it’s true that our genes play a part in the development and structure of our teeth, and dentists are there to help, the responsibility of dental care ultimately falls on us. Even those with the brightest, healthiest and most even teeth can still develop problems at any time if they do no keep up a regular and thorough oral care routine. From your daily care habits and regular diet to the products you use, here are 10 essential tips to help you maintain a healthy set of teeth for many years to come.
- Always brush your teeth before bed
It should be something we learn as children and never stop doing, but a surprising number of adults still don’t brush their teeth before they go to bed. If you don’t, all the germs and plaque from the day will hang around all night, leaving damage in their wake.
- Brush your teeth the right way
It’s important to brush your teeth in the right way, i.e., slow and gentle circular motions to remove the plaque.
- Remember your tongue
If you don’t brush your tongue at the same time as you brush your teeth, plaque will start to build up on the surface. This can lead to bad breath as well as other oral health issues.
- Choose a fluoride toothpaste
Your toothpaste should include a substance called fluoride as it provides an effective defence against germs and provides a protective barrier for your teeth.
- Floss as regularly as you brush
Flossing is nowhere near as common in the UK as it is in the US, but flossing once a day is a great way to ensure that you get rid of all the small pieces of food that are stuck between your teeth. It also stimulates the gums, reduces plaque and can reduce inflammation.
- See your dentist 3-4 times per year
In addition to your own care routine, it’s important that you see a dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings. Ideally, this would happen every 3 months, but as a minimum, it is recommended that you make appointments twice a year. They will be able to give your teeth a deep clean and identify any potential problems before they become serious.
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- Use mouthwash
Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t bother to include mouthwash as part of their everyday routine, but it supports oral health in multiple ways. It reduces the level of acid in the mouth, gets to the hard to reach areas that our toothbrushes can miss, and it can re-mineralise teeth.
- Drink plenty of water
It’s well known that drinking water is beneficial for our general health, but this also includes oral health. By drinking water during and after meals and other beverages, you can wash away at least some of the acid and pieces of food left behind.
- Reduce sugary and acidic foods
Sugar turns into acid in our mouths, which erodes tooth enamel and leads to cavities. Minimising the amount of acidic food and drink you consume is best when trying to prevent damage.
- Eat fresh foods
Rather than eating ready-made and processed foods, try to munch on fresh vegetables. This is not only better for your diet in general, but because these foods are higher in fibre, they are harder to chew, which will strengthen the jaw.