Good dental patients will visit our office twice a year for regular cleanings and exams. A cleaning and exam can go a long way to preserving your oral health — especially if you consider preventive care options — but the real work happens in between your visit. Things like what you eat, what you drink, the saliva levels in your mouth, how often you brush your teeth, and how often your floss your teeth all play a factor in your oral health.
Today we have a list of 7 ways to improve your oral health. Most of these you can practice at home!
1. Brush longer, better. Studies have shown that the average American brushes his teeth less than one minute every day. You might be one of those people. We dentists recommend that you brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time, reaching every quadrant of the mouth.
2. Use technology. Today there are countless mobile dental apps that help you improve your overall health. There are applications that remind you to eat health food. And you can even find brushing apps for children and adults.
3. Drink more water. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but water can help you improve your oral health for a number of reasons. Water helps you stay hydrated. Being hydrated means that you have healthy saliva levels. Saliva helps flush out food debris and fight off harmful plaque that creates tooth decay. Most public drinking water contains fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral that has been found to help reduce the risk of tooth decay.
4. Consider fluoride treatments. If you don’t have access to fluoridated drinking water, ask your dentist about fluoride treatments. We can apply the fluoride varnish quickly after your regular cleanings and exams.
5. Protect teeth with sealants. If you are prone to cavities or have teeth with large grooves or fissures, you can seal out cavities. Your dentist can apply a light coating on your healthy teeth. This clear coating seals off your teeth from harmful acids that cause cavities.
6. Don’t skip the floss. Floss is nearly just as important brushing your teeth. Flossing is the ideal way to prevent cavities in the side of teeth or even gum disease. Here is a great fact that is great to remember: about 35 percent of your tooth is beneath the gumline. When you don’t floss, you absolutely cannot clean all of your tooth!
7. Watch what you eat. Sugary treats and soda can destroy your healthy teeth. There are healthy foods like apples and dairy that help lower acid levels, thus reducing your risk of tooth decay.
These are just seven tips to follow in your journey to a healthy smile and life. The important thing to remember is that your oral health is in your hands. You control how often your brush and floss. You control what you eat. And you control how often you visit the dentist. To make sure you’re maintaining great oral care or to schedule your next dental visit this year, call our office today at 503-917-0523.
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