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Chances are, you take your appearance seriously and work hard to stay fit, shower daily to be hygienic, and use effective moisturizers to keep your skin looking smooth and young.
These are all good habits to have, but if you neglect your teeth, you are missing a crucial step in preserving your overall aesthetic.
A healthy smile not only helps you make a good impression, but much like exercise, it also contributes positively to your overall health.
By following these seven simple steps for optimal oral hygiene, you can ensure your beautiful smile lasts a lifetime.
1. Brush Twice a Day
It doesn’t take long for the plaque on your teeth to turn into tartar. Brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste prevents tartar buildup and the bacteria it contains from taking up residence in your mouth.
Brushing also protects your gums from this bacteria and its ability to cause severe gum disease.
2. Floss Nightly
By flossing every evening, you can significantly reduce the amount of bacterial plaque and food debris left between your teeth. Neglecting this step allows these food remnants to feed the bacteria working overnight to damage your teeth.
If you have difficulty using floss, interdental brushes are available and work well for individuals with braces or fixed bridges.
3. See the Dentist Regularly
Even with the best home oral hygiene routine, some tartar is bound to attach to your teeth. This hard substance is impossible to remove on your own and requires professional dental cleaning.
Without regular visits to your dentist, minor decay can also go unchecked and lead to large cavities that may require more invasive treatment than a simple filling.
Finally, you need to have your gums checked periodically to prevent a mild case of gingivitis, a very common condition, from progressing to periodontitis which can lead to tooth loss.
4. Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking water throughout the day not only keeps you well-hydrated, it also keeps your mouth from drying out.
A dry mouth is a well-known cause of tooth decay and can be avoided by consuming enough water. Drinking water washes away food particles on teeth and is particularly helpful after eating or drinking acidic foods and beverages, as brushing immediately after consuming these is not recommended.
5. Avoid Sugary or Acidic Foods and Beverages
Limit sweets and sugary drinks as these are the best friends of oral bacteria and promote their growth.
If you do eat or drink sweet products, brush immediately afterward. However, after acidic snacks or beverages, don’t brush right away, and some of it can be removed with brushing.
Instead, drink water and brush after an hour.
6. Use an Electric Toothbrush
An electric or motorized toothbrush is proven to accomplish more than a standard toothbrush and is a must for individuals who have any issues with small motor skills like arthritis. Electric toothbrushes are also recommended for children to ensure as much plaque is being removed as possible.
7. Don’t Smoke
Using tobacco products of any kind is bad for the health of your mouth and will turn your teeth yellow.
Smokers have more plaque as well as a higher risk of developing oral cancer, gum disease, tooth loss, and complications, including excessive bleeding after tooth extraction and surgery for gum disease. Smoking can also interfere with healing after oral surgery as it causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream. Additionally, smoking causes bad breath and damages your sense of taste.
Beverly Hills Dentist, Afshin Salamati, DDS, MS
Dr. Afshin Salamati is a highly-respected dentist in Beverly Hills, specializing in the treatment of gum disease, oral surgery, and dental implant placement. He also offers emergency dental care and can help you save your natural teeth.
Call Dr. Salamati’s Beverly Hills dental office today at (424) 379-3456 to schedule your visit.