Better dental health leads to improved overall health.
Let's begin by reviewing what most people already know. The daily habits of brushing and flossing are elementary if optimal dental health is to be reached. The use of water jets and electric toothbrushes certainly aid in efficiency but a great, healthy smile can be achieved without them.
Let's discuss 5 Tips to Better Dental Health that are often overlooked but yield great rewards when followed.
Get a New Toothbrush
Choose a brush with medium or soft bristles to avoid damaging your teeth. Once you find your favorite brand and specifics, plan to buy a new brush every three months. Many people do not realize that bacteria can collect on the bristles which results in reintroducing that bacteria into your mouth. We know your life gets busy and it's not easy to remember to buy a new brush. Here's a great built-in reminder: Every month with a 5th Sunday is the month for a new brush. Five Sunday months occur once every three months. Set the reminder on your phone never forget the new brush again!
Battle Dry Mouth
A dry mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria and subsequent decay. Unfortunately there are many illnesses that cause dry mouth as well as numerous medications with the unwelcome side effect. Read the materials provided you by your pharmacy or ask if your medication list includes any offenders. If so, don't be afraid to ask if there are any substitutions available. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist about over the counter and prescription relief.
A common, inexpensive and easy way to battle dry mouth is by chewing sugar-free gum. Your mouth will produce saliva as you chew.
A Clean Tongue Makes for a Happy Mouth
Probably the least liked act of oral hygiene, a clean tongue means less harmful bacteria present in your mouth. Purchase a good tongue scraper and do your best to reach the back of the tongue where most bacteria thrives. Many people use a toothbrush but a scraper is far more effective.
A cleaner tongue will give you the added benefit or fresher breath. Bad breath occurs when the bacteria that is naturally present in your mouth breaks down food debris and plaque. Keeping a clean tongue will significantly reduce the risk of bad breath.
The gag reflex can make this a challenge but the pay-off is great. Scrape that tongue!
Choose Your Mouthwash Wisely
Mouthwash is great for aiding in whiter teeth and fresher breath but when it comes to overall dental health, be sure your mouthwash does not contain alcohol. Alcohol in your rinse will dry your mouth out and lead to the same issues which follow dry mouth connected to health or medication. A good mouthwash is very beneficial in that it will reach areas in your mouth a brush cannot touch. Rinse every morning and every evening for optimal effects.
We all get the afternoon munchies or a late night snack attack. Choose foods that naturally clean teeth and destroy bacteria. Foods that should be at the top of your snack list include raw carrots and celery as well as popcorn. Campers and hunters have referred to apples as nature's toothbrush for generations.
Although it won't help you have fresh breath, a raw onion will kill decay-causing bacteria. Strawberries are known to whiten teeth and yogurt, milk, and cheese contain lactic acid which protects against decay.
Studies have shown that oral health lessens the risks of heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Inflammation present in gum disease is often silent.
By taking simple, daily and inexpensive steps you can reduce your risk of tooth decay and illness.