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Top 9 Ways to Take Care of Your Smile

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According to research, people who have good oral health are likely to suffer less from certain diseases when compared to those with bad oral health. It’s believed that bacteria in the mouth can get into the blood and injure vital organs.

According to the British Dental Health Foundation, there’s overwhelming evidence that people with gum disease are at a higher risk for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, dementia, arthritis and small birth weight babies.

So, here are 9 things you can do to ensure that your mouth stays clean and healthy.

See your dentist on a regular basis

You should have at least two dental appointments every year. If you have periodontal or gum problems, you should visit your dentist every 6 months. And if you have good oral hygiene, visit your dentist every 10 months. Longer than that and you risk permanent damage to your gums and teeth.

Brush thoroughly

Brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste will suffice, but brush properly.

Brush for at least 2 minutes to clean all the surfaces of teeth and get rid of harmful bacteria that may cause plaque build-up. If you have children, you must be confident enough to teach them early so they can establish a brushing routine and follow it even when unsupervised.

Always wait one hour after drinking fruit juice or eating to brush teeth, as drink and acidic foods make the tooth enamel soft, and leave it at risk of damage.

Clean between teeth
Gum disease and tooth decay mostly happens between the teeth due to build-up of plaque and food debris, so don’t neglect this area.

Floss once daily by gently sliding it down and up between teeth, then floss around the bottom of each tooth, ensuring that you go below the gum line.

Scrape your tongue

Many toothbrushes come with a scraper at the back to help clean the tongue.

Contrary to what many people believe, the bacteria that’s removed by scraping your tongue isn’t linked to serious medical conditions—but getting rid of it can make you nicer to be around.

Tongue-scraping helps to remove sulphur-producing bacteria that’s found at the back end of the tongue that’s responsible for bad breath (halitosis). So, for fresh breath confidence, make sure to work this into your daily routine.

Monitor your gums

Your gums begin to recede naturally as you age, but this may also be a sign of gum disease. Check for bleeding gums because this is one of the first signs of gum disease and requires the attention of a dentist.

If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss. In fact, gum disease causes tooth loss more often than tooth decay does.

Use a mouthwash

Using a mouthwash can be helpful as it provides additional benefits, like preventing bacteria build-up and decay. Be warned, however, as mouthwashes can’t be an alternative to brushing.

Some mouthwashes have antibacterial substances that fight the bacteria that causes plaque and bad breath. Try a reputable mouthwash brand.  You can also ask your dentist to recommend the best mouthwash for you.

See a hygienist

It’s important to visit a dental hygienist every 3-6 months. A dental hygienist will get rid of hardened plaque and tartar deposits that accumulate on teeth and will show you how to ensure it doesn’t come back. This will go a long way toward lowering your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Visiting a dental hygienist will also help you reduce your chances of tooth loss as well as developing serious health problems like cancer.

The cost of a polish and scale can vary based on what should be done, so ask the hygienist about the cost in advance.

Chew gum after eating

Saliva helps protect teeth naturally, and chewing gum really helps produce it.

When you eat, the sugar content in your food meets bacteria and creates plaque acid, which can erode teeth and cause cavities. Saliva helps neutralize the plaque acid.

To increase the flow of saliva, chew sugarless gum after a snack or meal.

See the bigger picture

We all know that we should look after our teeth well to prevent toothaches, maintain our appearance and keep dental costs at bay. However, many people don’t know how oral health is vital to overall health.

Dental problems can result in diabetes, systemic infections, heart disease, inability to talk or eat properly, and other conditions—some life-threatening. Crowded or crooked teeth can cause gum disease that can ultimately result in tooth loss. Beautiful, healthy teeth aren’t just good for looks, but also for your overall health.