You only get one set of adult teeth, and most older folks will tell you how much those teeth are missed when they are gone.
Regular visits to the dentist are an important part of dental care, but what can you do to clean and maintain your teeth on a daily basis?
Healthy teeth that can last a lifetime
These five easy tips can improve your life, save you money and keep your teeth looking good for a long time.
1. Check your cheeks
Is there any skin on the inside of your cheeks that feels course, bumpy or tough? While it is not a great danger in itself, damaged cheek tissue may be a sign that you are grinding your teeth at night and do not even know it.
Prolonged teeth grinding can lead to damaged teeth, tooth sensitivity, headaches, infection and sleep disruption. If you believe that you are grinding your teeth, it may be wise to get a silicone mouthguard to wear at night.
2. Floss first
You have probably heard this from your dentist at least once: “You are not flossing enough.”
However, did you know that the best time to floss is right before you brush? Many people floss after brushing, in their car or after a meal, and while those are not bad ideas, they are not as effective as they could be.
Recent studies show that flossing before brushing can significantly reduce plaque and that fluoride concentrations in the mouth were noticeably higher as well!
3. Drink more water
Drinking water right after you eat helps rinse out the leftover sugar and bacteria in your mouth. Drinking water with fluoride gives your teeth a nice recharge. It also keeps your mouth from becoming too dry, which can lead to all kinds of trouble down the road.
4. Change your toothbrush
We have all been guilty of neglecting our toothbrush, but using an old toothbrush is like cleaning your dishes with a dirty sponge.
Changing out your toothbrush at least three times a year is recommended, and it would not be a bad idea to occasionally give your toothbrush a soak in alcohol or sodium peroxide.
5. Be aware of your diet
Candy, sugar and coffee can be our enemies in the fight against tooth decay, but what foods are friendly to our teeth?
It turns out that dairy, vegetables and chicken are all fairly easy on your teeth and in fact, can help increase dental hygiene. Cheese, yogurt and milk, for instance, increase the amount of saliva in your mouth, which can create an inhospitable environment for harmful bacteria.
Dairy also contains calcium and other vitamins that help replenish your teeth.
Protect your teeth with good habits
Keep all these tips in mind as you go about your daily life, and remember that none of them are particularly hard to do and are much less expensive than a root canal or an abscess removal.
And of course, make sure you schedule regular visits to the dentist to let the professionals at Alder Lynn Family Dentistry help you keep your teeth healthy, happy and whole.
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