The importance of dental health habits
Your dental health status is a direct result of habit. The best thing you can do for your dental health is to follow a habitual dental health care routine. If you do not currently have a good health care routine, do not worry. People are not born with habits, but we can create habits. Whether you simply do not have many good dental health habits or you are simply not happy with your current habits, you can easily take control.
If you do not have healthy dental habits, then we can help. The first step is to create your habits and work to keep them going each day. Creating healthy dental habits will help promote longevity for the life of your teeth, gums and for your life overall.
Do you use these 5 dental health habits?
Whether you are just starting to create your habits, or you are reassessing and/or refining current habits, here is a good outline of the top 5 healthy habits that have your best interest in mind.
- Eating a healthy diet
- Brushing twice a day, with a soft bristle brush
- Flossing, thoroughly and correctly
- Avoiding smoking. Limiting alcohol
- Seeing a dentist twice a year, at minimum
Benefits of these 5 dental health habits
These 5 habits are a good basis for your dental hygiene routine and to promote proper dental health.
A healthy diet is important since what you eat and drink will directly affect your dental health. It is crucial to eliminate the foods that are harmful to your teeth and gums, such as sugar and soda, as it is to eat healthy foods that provide proper vitamins, minerals, nutrition, and essential necessities to support a healthy mouth.
Keep up regular brushing
Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time is essential to oral health. Even the toothbrush you use plays an important role in the quality of your teeth. Using a soft-bristle brush is much better than using a firm or hard-bristle brush. The main focus for brushing needs to be on frequency and gentleness.
Brushing your teeth too hard will cause more problems. With brushing, the goal is to brush just enough to where you interfere with the bacteria to wash them away.
Proper timing when brushing
Waiting about 30 minutes to brush your teeth after eating is also important. The food you eat will soften the enamel on your teeth, especially if it is something acidic like tomatoes or oranges. Brushing your teeth too soon after eating such foods can actually hurt you more than help you.
There are other ways to help support healthy teeth after eating before you brush, like swishing your mouth with water, staying hydrated so you stimulate the flow of saliva (which is your buffering agent that helps remineralize tooth surfaces), and chewing on sugar-free gum.
Flossing gets where the toothbrush cannot
Flossing is crucial. Brushing only removes a percentage of plaque and debris from your teeth. Most people just brush their teeth, forgetting that where the gums meet the teeth is where most bacteria/plaque build up. Make sure to floss between teeth and gently into the gums.
Avoid smoking and limit drinking. Smoking and tobacco increase your risk for things like gingivitis, periodontal disease and infections. Additionally, both smoking and heavy drinking increase the odds of developing oral and throat cancers.
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See your dentist for a cleaning twice a year, at a minimum. Bacteria can become predominant after around three months. Depending on how well you take care of your teeth, you should be seeing your dentist for a cleaning every three to six months.