Caring for your teeth is an essential part of maintaining your health. Cavities, gum disease and other dental problems can affect your overall level of well being — not to mention your overall level of comfort. The best way to prevent these problems is by taking good care of your teeth. This basic guide to dental care will show you all of the things you need to do to ensure that your teeth stay healthy and strong for years to come:
1. Brush your teeth after every meal. Brushing your teeth helps remove plaque. Plaque is a layer of bacteria that sticks to teeth and causes problems with gum disease and cavities. Brushing can help remove this plaque, thus decreasing your chances of experiencing any issues with oral health.
2. Steer clear of certain types of foods. When the bacteria in plaque consume certain types of foods, they produce acid. This acid can eat away the enamel of your teeth. Some of the worst culprits include sugar or starchy foods such as bread and crackers. Limiting your intake of sweets and starchy foods can help protect your teeth.
3. Floss your teeth every day. Brushing can help remove plaque from the surface of your teeth, but it can still remain hidden in the spaces between your teeth. This is where flossing can help. Dental floss fits up between your teeth and dislodges plaque, helping to prevent cavities from forming between your teeth. When you first start flossing, your gums may bleed a little bit. However, over time they will become stronger and they won’t bleed when you floss.
4. Use mouthwash after you brush and floss your teeth. A high quality mouthwash can help kill off the bacteria that causes decay and gum disease. Just be sure to choose the right mouthwash for your needs. Young children should not use fluoride mouthwash since there is a chance that they may swallow it. Instead, choose a mouthwash that is specifically formulated for children. Adults, however, may benefit from a fluoride rinse since it helps prevent decay.
5. See your dentist twice a year. Regular dental checkups can help keep your teeth clean and healthy. Not only that, but they can help you catch problems early while they are still small and easy to treat.
This basic guide to dental care should help you keep your teeth and gums healthy far into the future.