There are simple things that you can do every day to help maintain a strong and healthy smile. Our O’Fallon dentists are here with some helpful tips on how to care for your oral health day to day. We hope that this information allows you to further improve your at-home oral hygiene routine. As always, you can give us a call if you need more information!
To begin, the number one thing that you can do care for your smile is to follow all of your dentist’s recommendations regarding at-home care as well as professional cleanings and treatments. For most people, this means brushing their teeth twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and completing professional cleanings every six months or so.
The next step is to pay attention to your diet. Remember that foods and drinks with high concentrations of acid can weaken and deplete dental enamel over time; it is best to consume these things in short, designated time periods, rather than continuously throughout the day. Additionally, you want to minimize, as much as possible, the amount of sugar and refined carbohydrates you consume, as these feed harmful oral bacteria.
One thing that you can do to help refresh your smile throughout the day is to rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking. Also, make sure that you are drinking enough water during the day; when you are well-hydrated, your body is able to produce saliva, and saliva works to re-mineralize your dental enamel and neutralize oral bacteria.
Finally, be mindful about the tools you are using to clean your smile. If you do get food particles stuck between your teeth, for example, use floss to remove these bits, rather than picking at your smile with metal or wooden picks. Make sure, as well, that you are not using a toothbrush that is too abrasive—most people are fine with a soft-bristled toothbrush. If you’re not sure what type of toothbrush is right for you, talk to your dentist to get more information!
Keeping your dental enamel strong and healthy will help your smile resist infection down the road. Our O’Fallon dentists are here to do everything possible to help you achieve and maintain a strong smile! One thing that you really want to avoid is premature enamel thinning. Thin enamel is not as useful as thick dental enamel; if your enamel is thin it is more prone to sensitivity and developing cavities.
Here are some of the things that can cause your dental enamel to become thinner:
Bruxism is a condition that is characterized by chronic dental grinding and clenching. You might find that you’re grinding or clenching your teeth during the day, especially during times of stress. You may also be grinding your teeth at night—if you’re waking up with headaches or jaw pain, this may be due to bruxism.
As your teeth grind back and forth, your dental enamel is put under and immense amount of pressure. Over time, this condition can lead to your enamel becoming thin and weaker; you may also develop small cracks and chips in your teeth due to bruxism. The good news is that there are treatments available to lessen bruxism and protect your enamel!
Many foods and drinks are quite acidic, and thus they make dental enamel softer and weaker. One key to avoiding acid-related damage is to refrain from brushing your teeth for at least twenty to thirty minutes after you consume something acidic—your enamel is softer than usual during this period of time, and you don’t want to risk eroding it by brushing.
Here are some of the commonly consumed foods and drinks that are considered acidic:
· Citrus fruits
· Red wine
· Soft drinks
· Fruit juices
As always, you can reach out to our O’Fallon dentists to learn more about how to protect your enamel, and to schedule a consultation with our dental team. We look forward to speaking with you!
If you’re the type to make resolutions for the new year, take this opportunity to pledge to care for your smile in 2017! This is a great time for you to recommit to your dentist-recommended oral hygiene routine. Our O’Fallon dentists are here with some suggestions on how to maintain your teeth and gums this year.
Brushing your teeth helps to keep your smile looking clean and bright, and helps to prevent cavities and gum disease.
· Make sure that you’re brushing morning and night
· Use a toothbrush that is appropriate for you—most people should be using soft bristled toothbrushes—talk to your dentist if you are unsure
· Brush your smile for at least two minutes every time that you brush
· Use gentle circular motions to buff away plaque—too much pressure can actually cause enamel or gum tissue damage
Many people don’t take the time to floss as recommended, but this is a mistake!
· The American Dental Association recommends that patients floss once a day
· The best time to floss your smile is right before you brush your teeth at night
· Make sure that you are flossing between all of your teeth, and that you’re moving your piece of floss all the way down into your gum tissue
There are also some simple habits that you can incorporate into your daily routine in order to refresh your smile:
· Rinse your mouth with water after meals
· Make sure that you are drinking enough water every day, as this enables your body to produce oral-health-boosting saliva
· Don’t use abrasive toothpicks to clean between your teeth—if you need to dislodge a piece of food, do so using gentle floss
Our O’Fallon dentists can give you more information about caring for your smile at home. Please feel free to call our office to speak to a member of our team and schedule your consultation!
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