A bright and healthy smile is not only one of our most beautiful assets, but it’s a sign of our overall well-being. A poorly taken care of mouth can not only be unsightly, but it can also increase your risk of more severe health problems, such as heart attack and stroke. While dental work can restore a smile that has seen hard days, no amount of tooth replacement or dental fix will ever be able to match the health and strength of your natural teeth. Unfortunately, dental problems are a fact that the majority of people will deal with at some point in their lives; however, there are ways to put up a fight against bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay and give your natural teeth a chance.
Practice Proper At-Home Maintenance
Proper at-home oral hygiene is at the core of maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile. Between preventing bad breath, cavities, and gum disease, the care you put into your smile now will be apparent for years to come. Even though we are all taught how to brush and floss our teeth properly at an early age, it’s a routine that many of us still fall short on. Dr. Salamati recommends that you brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled brush, preferably in a circular motion. Toothbrushes should generally be replaced every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles begin to fray; as soon as a toothbrush starts to look like it’s worn out, it is, and it’s time to replace. In addition to proper brushing, Dr. Salamati recommends that you floss your teeth at least once a day and rinse with mouthwash that contains fluoride.
Watch Your Diet
Our diets play one of the most important roles in the maintenance of our teeth. We’ve all learned that sugar is bad for our overall health, but the threat of sugar is even more dangerous to our teeth. Sweet foods and drinks, such as soda, candy, and sweetened fruit drinks, put you at risk for tooth decay. Sugary foods cause acid to attack the teeth, whereas nutritious foods help your teeth fight off infection. To best maintain the health of your mouth, limit the amount of super-sweet foods and drinks and swap them out for a well-balanced diet full of nutrients.
Say No to That Cigarette
Smoking not only diminishes the white color of your teeth, but it affects tooth and gum health, as well. Smoking leads to gum disease, and gum disease is one of the most serious threats to the health of your mouth. Periodontal disease causes inflammation around the tooth, which in turn leads to tooth loss. Only you can say which is more important to you, smoking or the health of your teeth.
Sleep Comfortably, Not Clenching
Teeth grinding and clenching is common among adults, especially while they sleep. Teeth grinding (or bruxism) can be caused by many different situations, from genetics to an improper bite to stress and anxiety in your everyday life. When people grind their teeth, they are putting an abnormal amount of pressure on them, often without even noticing it, and this pressure leads to chipped and cracked teeth, not to mention the sore jaw and headaches that you likely wake with. Wearing a mouthguard at night can help teeth grinders maintain the healthy look and feel of their teeth.
Remember Your Dentist
Unfortunately, one of the most disregarded aspects of a healthy mouth is also one of the most important. Attending routine (meaning twice a year) appointments with your dentist will help keep your teeth at their optimal level. Between the deep cleanings that can reach the areas that brushing can’t and X-rays that allow your dentist to fully understand what is going on with your mouth, going to your dentist is a step that you don’t want to pass up on. Dental visits are not overly popular with people, but the good they do for you goes far beyond the dissatisfaction of an afternoon.
For more information about how to practice good oral hygiene or if you have any dental concerns, contact Dr. Salamati at 310-275-1090.