Good oral health is something which you have to strive for every single day of your life. Here are some of the routine yet effective (and often overlooked) ways that you can keep take care of your pearly whites and stretch your smile:
1. Kick the habit.
This is the first and most important lifestyle change which you would have to do in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy is to stop lighting up. Smoking exposes your mouth to different toxic chemicals such as nicotine and carbon monoxide. The nicotine acts as an adhesive which makes plaque stick to the surface of the smoker’s teeth and makes it harder for this dental debris to be removed with just regular teeth brushing. And the risks of smoking actually follow you for ten years after you’ve dropped the habit, with smokers carrying a higher tendency to develop periodontitis and experience gum disease-related gum disease.
2. Visit your dentist for regular check-ups.
Regular dental check-ups are crucial in that they enable your dentist to assess your current dental health status and advise appropriate dental procedures to treat any existing condition. Most dental conditions develop very slowly with signs and symptoms progressing in barely noticeable increments over time. For this reason, self-diagnosis can be difficult. And don’t believe when people say that you’ll know if you have a cavity because that is definitely wrong.
3. Know how to brush properly.
Brushing is your first line defense against cavities. And while you may have been brushing your teeth since you were in your diapers, you may actually be doing it all wrong. One common misconception is that the more forceful you are as you brush your teeth, the better you are at removing dental plaque and other debris. However, this is not the case since vigorous brushing actually irritates your gums and does not even guarantee the complete removal of oral plaque. Dentists recommend brushing using soft, circular strokes. And to ensure thorough cleaning, one should brush for not less than 2 minutes.
4. Floss at least once a day.
Just because you brush your teeth does not guarantee that you’ve eradicated all plaque from your mouth. In fact, there’s a huge chance that you might have plaque stuck in between your teeth. Since these crevices are too tight for the bristles of the toothbrush to get into, you need to floss in order to get rid of this stuck plaque. While flossing should be done after every meal, your dentist can settle for flossing just once a day.
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