When it comes to your oral health, how often you go to the dentist is only half the battle. What you do in between dental visits is just as—if not more so—important, as properly caring for your teeth, mouth, and gums can make all the difference in preventing dental problems and maintaining good health overall. Thankfully, all it takes to keep your teeth in good shape between visits is a few simple practices that are easy to incorporate into your daily routine. To help you set yourself up for success, we at North Dental Professionals have put together a list of the top five tips for maintaining healthy teeth, starting off with:
1. Brush Your Teeth At least Twice a Day
There are more reasons to brush your teeth in the morning and before bed than simply to keep your breath smelling fresh. Brushing twice a day is recommended by the American Dental Association for its oral health benefits, and doing so for two minutes each time is the best way to keep teeth truly clean. If you’re brushing in a rush, you’re far more likely to miss plaque in hard-to-reach spots of your mouth. That plaque can lead to plenty of problems, such as cavities, that may even require extra attention during your next dental appointment.
2. Avoid Sugary Foods
Indulging in foods that satisfy your sweet tooth often isn’t the best for your body as a whole, but you may not recognize just how much of a toll it can take on your teeth. Sugar can erode the enamel of your teeth and create an excess of plaque, but the sources of sugar in your diet may not always be obvious. Try to limit your intake of sweetened beverages, artificially flavored foods, and condiments with added sugar. While it’s okay to treat yourself once in a while, your oral health will thank you for cutting down on the sweet stuff overall.
3. Use the Right Oral Care Products
You already know that brushing your teeth twice a day is essential for maintaining healthy teeth in between dental appointments, but what you brush with is also something to keep in mind. Use a fluoride toothpaste along with a toothbrush with soft bristles when brushing, as fluoride protects against cavities and improves the health of your teeth while the softer brush prevents damage to your enamel. In addition to these, you may also want to incorporate a fluoride mouth wash or rinse as well as any additional products recommended by your dentist.
4. Avoid Smoking, Tobacco Products, & Alcohol
Sugar isn’t the only substance you may want to limit your intake of for the sake of your teeth—cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and even alcohol can be detrimental for your oral health. Not only can these products cause tooth discoloration and stains, but they can also lead to:
- Gum disease
- Tooth loss/decay
- Excessive buildup of plaque and tartar
- Dry mouth
Additionally, products like tobacco products and alcohol are carcinogenic and can increase your risk of developing oral cancer.
5. Don’t Forget to Floss
Flossing just once a day helps prevent cavities, keeps your gums in good shape, and removes plaque and tartar from areas that can easily be missed by the bristles of your toothbrush. While it may seem like a tedious task to complete every single day, it’s an easy action to incorporate into your routine—and one that can help you have healthier teeth and better dental appointments whenever you do go to see your dentist.
Learn More About Maintaining Good Dental Health
While there’s a lot that you can do to maintain proper dental care in between appointments, you still need to see your dentist regularly to have your teeth deeply cleaned, assessed, and treated. Thankfully, achieving exceptional oral health is easy when you partner with the team of experienced dentists at North Dental Professionals. Contact our Chicago or Skokie office today to learn more about how we can help you keep your smile healthy.