Healthy teeth aren’t just an important element of a great smile; they are essential to your overall health! There are many extra steps you can take to ensure you have healthy teeth. In addition to brushing and flossing, these steps can help you keep those pearly whites healthy and strong!
Helpful Ways to Get Healthy Teeth
Especially as you get older, it is very important to protect your teeth from decay and keep your gums healthy. Tooth decay and gum disease are caused by bacteria that forms a film on your teeth called plaque. If you don’t brush the plaque away, the bacteria on your teeth can produce acid that wears away at your tooth enamel. This can also harden into tartar and lead to gum inflammation and disease.
While brushing and flossing twice a day is a crucial part of maintaining healthy teeth, here are some other steps you can take to get the strongest, healthiest smile!
Eat a Healthy, Well-Balanced Diet
Believe it or not, your diet has a lot to do with whether or not you have healthy teeth. A well-balanced diet provides the minerals, vitamins, and nutrients you need to maintain healthy teeth and gums. You should do your best to avoid sucrose-the leading cause of tooth decay.
Sugary foods play a particularly strong role in the presence and progression of tooth decay. Things like candy, cookies, and soda are major offenders that prevent you from having the healthy teeth you need and deserve. Even starchy foods that contain sugar, like bread and cereal, can play a big role in tooth decay. When they mix with saliva, they create an acid bath that can erode the enamel of your teeth and make you more susceptible to tooth decay. Even food items that sound healthy, like dried fruit, can have an adverse effect on your teeth because they are high in sugar and cling to the surface of your teeth.
In addition to following a well-balanced diet, try to increase the number of fresh fruits you eat. Things like apples and bananas are great choices and less likely to prevent you from having healthy teeth. In fact, apples that been said to stimulate the gums, increase the flow of saliva, and reduce the amount of cavity-causing bacteria that becomes built-up in your mouth.
Add Supplements When Necessary
There are some supplements that we get in our diets that can help us maintain healthy teeth. Calcium, for example, is essential for strong, healthy teeth. As you probably know, the most well-known source of calcium is milk. But, some people can’t drink calcium-rich beverages. While it is also found in leafy greens, seeds, nuts, and other great foods, talk to your doctor about whether or not you should add a calcium supplement to your diet. Calcium deficiencies don’t just affect the well-being of your teeth, they can affect your whole body. The average person should consume around 1,000 mg. of calcium per day. Sometimes calcium supplements are taken with vitamin D to help absorb the calcium.
In addition to calcium and vitamin D, fluoride is important for your oral health. While fluoride is present in some water supplies, there are also many brands of toothpaste and mouthwash that are enriched with fluoride. While fluoride is good for your teeth, it’s important to understand that excess consumption of fluoride can actually ruin your teeth and cause major health problems. Before you add fluoride products to your routine, talk to your dentist, orthodontist, or doctor.
In addition to these above-mentioned supplements, the following vitamins and minerals can help you maintain healthy teeth:
You have probably heard all the amazing health benefits of drinking water regularly throughout your day. When it comes to the health of your mouth, the positive effects of water are no different! As we discussed early, most water supplies carry a healthy dose of fluoride to help you maintain healthy teeth. In addition, drinking water regularly can help prevent tooth decay as the water washes away any residue that has built up on your teeth’s enamel throughout the day.
While it is recommended that you brush your teeth after every meal, water can serve as a temporary fix if you don’t have the time or resources to do so. Simply swishing water around your mouth after you eat can loosen any food particles from getting stuck in your teeth and wash sucrose build-up off your tooth’s surface.
Pay Close Attention to Your Children’s Oral Hygiene
Children are particularly susceptible to tooth decay. While you want to teach them independence and help them learn to maintain their oral hygiene on their own, it’s up to you to make sure they take the necessary steps to have healthy teeth. In addition to providing your children with a healthy diet, you should brush their teeth for them until they are at least six-years-old. That’s because although they may be smart enough to brush their teeth on their own, children really need help doing a thorough job until they are mature enough to do so themselves.
Supervise their oral hygiene routine. Make sure they brush and floss twice daily. Never put babies or toddlers to bed with a bottle of milk, juice, or other drink. Also, try to avoid dipping pacifiers in honey or syrup. As with everyone, your children should maintain regular dental cleanings and oral examinations every six-month to avoid dental issues.
Fight Against Gum Disease
Many of the biggest issues people face as they try to maintain healthy teeth involve gum disease. More teeth are actually lost due to gum disease than they are due to tooth decay. This can strike anyone who neglects their oral hygiene or eats an unhealthy diet. Those suffer from malnutrition, alcoholism, cancer, or are being treated with steroid drugs are, particularly at risk.
Regularly brushing and flossing can help prevent gum inflammation. Additionally, maintaining regular dental health checks can help catch gum disease when it starts, preventing major damage and stopping its progression. Healthy gums are just as important as healthy teeth!
When it comes to your smile, it’s important to maintain healthy teeth. And that affects your overall health as well! Talk to your orthodontist about ways to improve your oral hygiene routine and maintain healthy teeth during your orthodontic treatment.