Maintaining ones’ overall health is more important now than ever, and improving your oral health can directly impact that. Here are the top four ways you can improve your oral health:
- Significantly cut back on sugar. Excess has an overall negative impact on your health, but also is a primary factor for tooth decay. By cutting back on your sugar intake, you can decrease your risk of developing cavities. For those special occasions when you need a sweet treat, stay away from hard candy or sticky gummies. These tend to stay on the teeth for longer and mix with the plaque on your teeth to turn into harmful acid that breaks away enamel. You might consider chocolate as an alternative to satisfy your sweet cravings, as it melts away quickly and doesn’t stay in the mouth for as long.
- Buy an electric toothbrush. With an electric toothbrush, users do not have to brush back and forth but simply guide the brush through the quadrants of the mouth and let the tiny vibrations do the cleaning. Many electric toothbrushes also have a built-in 2-minute timer to help keep you accountable!
- Flossing, Flossing, Flossing! The American Dental Association recommends cleaning between your teeth daily with an interdental cleaner (like floss). Flossing helps remove plaque that contains bacteria that feeds on leftover food or sugar in your mouth. When that happens, it releases an acid that can eat away at the outer shell of your teeth and cause cavities. Although some have questioned the benefits of cleaning between your teeth, using an interdental cleaner such as dental floss is an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also said flossing is "an important oral hygiene practice" in an August 2016 statement.
- Maintain your appointments for routine dental exams and cleaning! A dental exam goes beyond just keeping your teeth and mouth healthy and clean in the present. A routine check-up can find and identify signs of: tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, not to mention other medical conditions in their early stages, which allows you to receive treatment now that will keep your teeth and mouth healthier. Routine teeth cleanings are essential because they remove hardened plaque from your teeth, along with stains and tartar, that regular brushing and flossing are not able to remove. Plaque and buildup can only be removed with specialized dental tools.