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11 easy steps for healthy teeth

To achieve healthy teeth can take a lifetime of care. It is crucial to take the right steps every day to take care of them and prevent problems. This involves getting the right oral care products, as well as being mindful of one’s daily habits. Following are some ways to keep ones pearly whites stay healthy.

1. Never sleep without brushing teeth

The general recommendation worldwide is to brush at least twice a day. Still, many people continue to neglect brushing their teeth at night. But brushing before bed gets rid of the germs and plaque that accumulate throughout the day.

2. Always brush properly

The way one brush is equally important. Take time, move the toothbrush in gentle, circular motions to remove plaque. Unremoved plaque can harden, leading to calculus build-up and gingivitis.

3. Don’t forget the tongue

Plaque can also build up on tongue. Not only can this lead to bad mouth odor, but it can lead to other oral health problems. Gently brush the tongue every time one brush teeth.

4. Use a fluoride toothpaste

When it comes to toothpaste, there are more important elements to look for than whitening power and flavors. No matter which version one choose, make sure it contains fluoride.

Fluoride is a leading defense against tooth decay. It works by fighting germs that can lead to decay, as well as providing a protective barrier for the teeth.

5. Flossing is important

Many who brush regularly neglect to floss. “Flossing is not just for getting those little pieces of Chinese food or broccoli that may be getting stuck in between your teeth,” says Jonathan Schwartz, DDS. “It’s really a way to stimulate the gums, reduce plaque, and help lower inflammation in the area.”

Flossing once a day is usually enough to reap these benefits.

6. Don’t let flossing difficulties stop you

Flossing can be difficult, especially for young children and older adults with arthritis. Rather than give up, look for tools that can help floss teeth easily. Ready-to-use dental flosses from the drugstore can make a difference.

7. Consider better mouthwash

Advertisements make mouthwash seem necessary for good oral health, but many people skip them because they don’t know how they work.

Mouthwash helps in three ways: It reduces the amount of acid in the mouth, cleans hard-to-brush areas in and around the gums, and re-mineralizes the teeth.

“Mouthwashes are useful as an adjunct tool to help bring things into balance,” he explains. “I think in children and older people, where the ability to brush and floss may not be ideal, a mouthwash is particularly helpful.”

Certain brands are best for children, and those with sensitive teeth. Prescription mouthwash is also available.

8. Stay Hydrated

Water continues to be the best beverage for your overall health, including oral health. Also, as a rule of thumb, Schwartz recommends drinking water after every meal. This can help wash out some of the negative effects of sticky and acidic foods and beverages in between brushes.

9. Eat crunchy fruits and vegetables

Ready-to-eat foods are convenient, but perhaps not so much when it comes to the teeth. Eating fresh, crunchy produce not only contains more healthy fiber, but it’s also the best choice for teeth. “I tell parents to get their kids on harder-to-eat and chew foods at a younger age,” says Schwartz. “So try to avoid the overly mushy processed stuff, stop cutting things into tiny pieces, and get those jaws working!”

10. Limit sugary and acidic foods

Sugar converts into acid in the mouth, which can then erode the enamel of teeth. These acids then lead to cavities. Acidic fruits, teas, and coffee can also wear down tooth enamel. While one doesn’t necessarily have to avoid such foods altogether, it doesn’t hurt to be mindful.

11. Have dental check-up at least twice a year

Everyday habits are crucial to overall oral health. Still, even the most dutiful brushers and flossers need to see a dentist regularly. At minimum, one should see the dentist for cleanings and checkups twice a year. Not only can a dentist remove calculus and look for cavities, but they will also be able to spot potential issues and offer treatment solutions.

-article published in Healthline

December 26, 2019

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