As many as 92% of adults have some degree of decay in their permanent teeth. Tooth decay leads to bad breath, painful tooth aches, gum disease that can cause further health issues, and tooth loss. By the age of 35, 69% of adults have lost at least one permanent tooth. This unfortunate statistic is often avoidable, if healthy dental care habits are followed throughout one’s life. Here are a few tips for developing a healthy dental hygiene routine:
- Seek general dentistry services on a regular basis. You should visit your dentist for a a tooth cleaning and general dentistry services every six months. At least once a year, your dentist should take x-rays of your mouth to ensure there are no hidden problems that could become bigger issues down the road.
- Brush your teeth twice a day. Brushing your teeth in the morning and before bed is the best way to remove the bacteria that causes tooth decay and cavities. Ideally, you should also brush after each meal, but if that isn’t possible, you should at least thoroughly rinse your mouth with water after every time you eat, in addition to brushing twice a day.
- Don’t forget to floss. Flossing can be a hassle, and it’s easy to neglect. Many dentists say that it’s only important to floss the teeth that you want to keep. If you want to keep all of your teeth, then you want to floss all of your teeth at least once a day; flossing gets the bacteria between your teeth that your toothbrush just can’t reach.
- Don’t skip your calcium intake. Calcium strengthens your bones, including your teeth. You can get calcium by drinking milk and calcium-fortified juices, eating dairy products, or taking a daily calcium supplement. While you’re at it, stay away from soft drinks, alcohol, and coffee, which contain phosphorus that deplete the calcium in your body. Also, avoid drinks and food that contain high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup boosts the bacteria levels in your mouth, and erode your pearly whites.
- Use mouthwash. Mouthwash is not only effective for killing your bad breath; if it contains an oxidizing agent such as chlorine dioxide (Listerine), the mouthwash will keep the bacteria population down between cleanings. Mouthwash on it’s own can’t do all the work to keep your mouth healthy, you should add it to your oral hygiene routine that also includes brushing and flossing.
- Don’t ignore mouth pain. Some dental issues can be reversed if they are caught soon enough. If you are experiencing sensitivity or pain in your teeth or jaw, you should make an appointment right away. Many general dentistry services are quick, inexpensive, and involve minimal pain if they’re addressed early; the longer you wait, the more difficult and painful the problem becomes.
Do you have any oral hygiene tips that we didn’t mention? Please leave us a comment with your input below!