7 Little Ways Caring for Your Smile Today Impacts Your Health Later On

Good oral hygiene could give you better health

Good oral hygiene habits are essential to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. These habits affect your oral health and whole body health. Without a good home care routine, teeth are more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease, leading to tooth loss and decreased self-confidence. 

You can prevent these problems by visiting your dentist routinely and developing good oral hygiene habits. Daily brushing and flossing are important, but there’s more to oral care than that. Follow these dental health tips to care for your smile today and preserve it for the future.  

Dental Health Tips to Maintain Your Smile 

Dentistry for the entire family is a vital part of keeping everyone healthy. Teach your family to follow these dental health tips, and you can feel confident they will get a positive review at their next dental checkup. 

1. Floss Daily 

You’d be surprised to learn how much plaque and bacteria reside between your teeth. Daily flossing as part of your oral hygiene routine removes these particles from places your toothbrush cannot reach. Removing the debris, including any food that has become trapped, also helps prevent bad breath.  

For proper flossing, gently push the floss to the gumline, then hug the side of each tooth with an up-and-down motion. Avoid snapping the floss up and down because it can damage your gum tissue and doesn’t remove plaque as effectively. 

2. Avoid Sipping Coffee All Day

You’ve probably heard that coffee can stain your teeth. But did you know that lingering coffee particles can increase your risk of tooth decay? Sipping on a cup for hours causes the sugars and acids to stay in your mouth longer, sitting on your teeth and eroding the enamel.

What you add to your coffee can also affect your smile. Many people add milk, syrups, or sugar to their morning brew. These all are significant contributors to the development of cavities. 

Instead of spreading it out over several hours, drink your coffee within 30 minutes. Follow it up with a glass of water or chew sugar-free gum to remove any remaining coffee particles from your teeth. 

3. Limit Snacking on Sugary and Starchy Foods    

One of the most common dental health tips is avoiding sugary foods to prevent cavities. However, experts also believe processed starchy foods, like crackers, bread, and potato chips, contribute to tooth decay. Limiting the number of times you snack on these foods can protect your smile.  

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, consuming between-meal snacks and beverages, especially those containing sugar significantly increases the risk of cavities due to prolonged contact between sugars in the consumed food and cariogenic bacteria on the teeth.

Instead of snacking on sugary, starchy snacks, choose healthier alternatives. For example, eat apples or carrots instead of crackers, if you want something crunchy. To satisfy a sweet tooth craving, eat strawberries or bananas.   

4. Drink Lots of Water 

Sodas, juice, and energy drinks are the number one sources of added sugar in the American diet. Consuming these or other sugary beverages increases your risk of developing cavities. 

Limiting your sugar drink consumption and drinking water or unsweetened tea throughout the day can protect your smile for many years.  

5. Address Bruxism

Bruxism refers to clenching or grinding of your teeth. This can occur whether you are awake or sleeping. Most people who grind their teeth at night are unaware of the habit, but it has several significant side effects affecting your oral health and whole body health.

Patients with bruxism often experience one or more of the following: 

  • Pain around the jaw joint and surrounding muscles 
  • Temporomandibular disorders
  • Tooth damage 
  • Gum recession 
  • Headaches 

This oral health condition is treated using nightguards, medications, therapeutic exercise, and lifestyle changes.  

6. Avoid Tobacco Use 

Not only does smoking cause tooth discoloration, it also harms your body’s immune system. This makes it more difficult for tissues to heal, including oral tissues. Using tobacco products increases your risk of developing gum disease and experiencing slower healing after a dental procedure.  

7. Schedule Routine Preventative Appointments 

The American Dental Association recommends you visit your dentist for routine care every six months. During your appointment, a hygienist will remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. Your dentist will check for signs of cavities or other oral health conditions with a visual evaluation and X-rays. 

These visits, combined with good daily hygiene habits, help prevent cavities. Routine appointments also allow your dentist to detect early signs of mouth cancer. 

Dentistry for the Entire Family at Valley Dental Clinic 

If you’re searching for a reliable dental team that can serve your whole family, call Valley Dental Clinic. Our dedicated professionals have the necessary experience to deliver quality results. We’ll help you maintain a healthy smile and share more dental health tips. Contact us today!