We all want to have a fabulous smile, the kind that can light up a room, the kind that people remember, the kind that makes everything about us more glamourous and more beautiful. But, keeping that fabulous, healthy smile can seem like an impossible task. Faced with a drugstore aisle full of tooth care products and an overwhelming desire to have better dental visits, it can seem impossible to even start. Well, follow these simple, pro steps and you’ll be an oral health master in short order, beaming your healthy smile at will and enjoying pleasant, less painful dental visits.
1. Brush. Every. Day.
A healthy mouth starts with a clean mouth. So, grab a soft bristle brush and show your mouth some love. Pay attention to all the tooth surfaces, front, tops, and backs. Don’t leave any tooth neglected, and give your gums some gentle swipes as well.
2. And Brush Well
It takes about 2 minutes to brush your teeth well. Make sure every tooth gets quality time with the toothbrush–don’t stall out in one or two spots. Technique matters, too. Long horizontal swipes at your gums can damage them; hold your brush at a 45° angle and gently work in shorter, tooth-width strokes. Gently is a key word here, too. One of the most common brushing errors is pushing too hard, which can force your gums away from your teeth and rub away your enamel. Brushing is not the time to show off your fierce muscles.
3. With a High-Quality Dentifrice (fancy word for tooth cleaner)
Proper technique will take you a long way. A high-quality tooth cleaner (dentifrice) will take you a lot farther on your journey to being an oral health master. It’s easy to get overwhelmed trying to pick the right product. Maybe you use a whitening toothpaste to try to keep your smile bright despite your coffee/tea/red wine/soda habit. Maybe you are searching for an enamel strengthening toothpaste. CariFree tooth gels provide both whitening and enamel building ingredients in a single product. Why choose between elements of a healthy mouth? Spend once on a product that meets multiple needs.
4. Floss, Too
Floss your teeth. We all know we’re supposed to floss, but, for any number of reasons, people just don’t do it. Avoiding it is so common, stand up comedy routines go on about lying to the dentist, saying you floss. But, lying won’t clean your teeth. You can’t improve your oral health by fooling yourself. So, pull out the floss or the flossing tool and clean out those spaces between your teeth.
5. Yes, Every Single Day
That’s right. While studies have shown that daily flossing seriously eliminates reduces the number of cavity-forming bacteria and reduces dangerous plaques, intermittent flossing provides very little benefits. If you’re serious about your oral health, floss every single day. Your dentist isn’t fooled by the one time you flossed, 20 minutes before your appointment. Your oral health isn’t about impressing the dentist, it’s about you. So, make some “me time” to make your mouth healthier.
6. Eat Right
A healthy diet can improve heart health. A healthy diet is vital to managing diabetes (or preventing it altogether). A healthy diet can improve a host of health conditions. Did you know your healthy diet can also help you build stronger, better teeth and gums? Calcium and phosphorus-rich foods can help your teeth and bones stay strong. Vitamin C is vital for healthy gums. A balanced diet can help you achieve better health across the board, including better oral health. Master your eating habits to help master your health.
7. Get Smart About Snacking
Frequent snacking is not just the enemy of a trim waistline. It can be the enemy of your tooth enamel. Even healthy snacks make your mouth more acidic, and the acids can strip the enamel away from your tooth surfaces. The more often you eat, the more chances there are for acids to remove the enamel. Keeping your tooth enamel in place is vital to keeping your teeth strong. If small, frequent meals or snacks are a necessity for your overall health, consider a pH neutralizing rinse to protect your teeth and mitigate acid damage. Alternatively, consider chewing a gum containing Xylitol, which can actually help prevent cavities. Master your mealtimes, and master your mouth health.
8. See Your Dentist
Your dentist is not the emergency room–a person or place to avoid unless the pain and suffering are so bad there is no alternative but to go visit. You dentist is a part of your coaching team, working for you to keep you in tip-top shape. The dentist can keep your teeth clean, make recommendations about new research and new products to help you out, and spot itty-bitty problems before they become great big obstacles to health. Your dentist can be your guru on your journey to oral health.
9. Don’t Ignore Small Signs
Speaking of the emergencies, the best way to avoid non-traumatic dental emergencies is to pay attention early before a problem spirals out of control. Seeing a little pink after you spit while brushing? Call the dentist before you have full-blown gum disease. Noticing a little lump on your gum? Have it checked out. Most oral health challenges are treatable early if caught early. Pay attention to your oral health signs to keep yourself in peak overall health.
10. Pain is Not Gain
Do not ignore dental pain. Pain is your body asking for your attention. Give it the attention it deserves. If you see the dentist when a tooth first starts hurting, there’s a much better chance to treat a problem without extracting the tooth. If you ignore it, you may be letting a disease process run wild while you are in denial. Pain in the mouth should be evaluated, not ignored, so the cause can be treated, not take over.
11. Keep it Sweet
Bad breath. More cavities. Constant discomfort. Gum disease. All of these are known complications of dry mouth. Saliva is good for your mouth and helps protect your teeth. Not having enough is a real medical condition called xerostomia. Sipping water may provide a little relief, but if you’re one of the millions of dry-mouth sufferers, consider a product made to provide dry mouth relief. Not only will you be more comfortable, but you can stave off some pretty unpleasant oral damage by treating your dry mouth.
The steps to becoming an oral health master are in your grasp. A little effort on your part, and you’ll be on your way to keeping a life-long healthy smile.