If you're like most people, the first thing you notice about someone is their smile. There's nothing like a bright, friendly smile to catch the eye. Of course, a beautiful smile isn't something that happens accidentally. Taking care of your teeth and gums is the key to maintaining your fresh, white smile.
Yes, you've heard it your entire life. Even though it may not be your favorite thing to do, flossing your teeth is one of the most important ways to maintain your dental health. Removing the sticky plaque that gathers between teeth is the best way to prevent it from hardening, and therefore keep tartar from forming. By flossing away this bacteria, you are preventing gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), which often leads to gum disease. As gum disease can lead to a host of other issues such as periodontal disease, the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, it's obvious why flossing is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your oral health.
It may seem as if brushing your teeth is common sense, but the way you brush, and what type of brush you use, can play an integral part in the health of your mouth. For instance, toothbrushes come with either soft, medium, or hard bristles. The vast majority of people will find that soft bristles are the most comfortable, and safest choice, especially for folks who tend to brush vigorously. Depending on the condition of your gums, medium or hard bristles can damage the gums, causing recession, and can even damage the protective tooth enamel. The size of the brush head is also important, as the brush must fit comfortably in your mouth in order to be able to move about freely and reach the surface of each tooth. It is also important to determine whether a manual or electric toothbrush best suits your needs. Some people find they prefer to brush manually, while others might appreciate the efficiency of a fast-moving brush sweeping the plaque from their teeth. Certain electric toothbrushes even have a timer, and turn themselves off after the recommended 2 minutes of brushing, eliminating any excuses to slack off on time spent on your brushing regimen.
Benefits of Mouthwash
The use of mouthwash has long been toted as an important part of any oral hygiene routine. While we know mouthwash is second to none in freshening breath, it's also a key component in preventing tooth decay. Mouthwash reaches areas of the mouth where flossing and brushing may miss, helping to eliminate plaque in hard to reach locations. In effect, a good mouthwash can prevent or reduce gingivitis, and slow down the development of tartar.
Fluoride has been the single greatest advancement in oral health, as it strengthens tooth enamel, making it less likely to decay. In America, most tap water is fluoridated for this reason. If your water isn't, or if you have periodontal issues, it may be a good idea to ask your dentist for a fluoride treatment. Such treatments consist of your dentist putting a fluoride application on your teeth and allowing it to set. This coupled with the use of a fluoride toothpaste, and perhaps a fluoride rinse, should be enough to combat tooth decay.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Of course, while following the above tips is a wonderful start to achieving better dental health, you can't neglect regular trips to the dentist. Finding a caring, professional dental team, is the true key to excellent dental health. Regular cleanings and routine exams will keep your smile bright and healthy throughout your lifetime. And, if you've ever wished for straighter teeth but don't feel traditional braces fit your lifestyle, today's options like Six Month Smiles offer quick, nearly invisible straightening, making them perfect for adults in a busy world.