Often we tend to take our teeth for granted. After all, tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, right? However, even enamel can be damaged. Just as we establish routines to keep the rest of our bodies healthy, we need to establish good dental habits as well.
Which comes first the brush or the floss?
Does it matter? Always floss first, to keep debris from re-settling on freshly brushed teeth. Use a soft brush and replace it every three months. Don’t brush too hard: You’re trying to remove plaque, not enamel! You don’t have to rinse after you brush. Simply spit out any excess toothpaste. This leaves a film of fluoride in place to help strengthen your teeth.
Even Your Teeth Need Healthy Foods
You already know to avoid sweets, especially between meals. Did you know that some foods are actually good for your teeth? Crunchy fruits and vegetables scrape film off teeth and stimulate the production of saliva, which reduces plaque buildup. Both green and black teas contain compounds that help reduce bacterial growth, as does red wine. A diet rich in calcium is important for strong teeth. If you want to avoid dairy products, calcium is also found in sunflower seeds, dark leafy greens, and some types of molasses.
Protect Your Oral Assets
In addition to needing calcium in the diet, you also need to protect the calcium that is already in your teeth. Fluoride toothpaste helps by making it easier for your body to replace calcium that might be lost from the enamel. Acidic foods and drinks, such as carbonated sodas, erode enamel by creating an acid environment in the mouth. You can protect teeth by following your tangy treat with a glass of water. Milk, cheese and other dairy products also reduce acid. Tooth grinding leads to excessive wear and even fractures in the teeth. If you find yourself clenching your teeth frequently or wake up with sore jaw muscles, it’s a good idea to talk to your dentist.
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
Wanting an attractive smile is not just a matter of vanity. Stained, damaged or missing teeth make a bad impression that can hurt your career. It’s difficult to interact with coworkers when you’re afraid to smile or laugh because you don’t have healthy teeth. Yet many people avoid going to the dentist because they’re afraid of the cost. One way to solve this problem is to include dental care in your annual budget. Another solution is a good dental insurance plan. These plans can be surprisingly affordable and usually cover routine exams and cleanings, along with fillings and other types of restoration. A dental budget combined with the right insurance can protect you from pain in your mouth and in your wallet.
More Than Just a Pretty Smile
A healthy mouth is more than just a pretty smile. It’s the key to preventing many health issues. Digestion begins in the mouth. The mechanical action of chewing, along with the enzymes in saliva, reduces food to the proper consistency for the rest of the digestive tract to process. Gum disease or abscesses put strain on the immune system and can even lead to an increased risk of stroke or heart disease.
Your Dentist, Your Friend!
Regular dental checkups help keep tooth trouble at bay and give you a chance to have any problems corrected before they lead to tooth loss or the need for crowns or other restorations. Find a dentist that makes you makes you feel comfortable and is easy to talk to. At Apple Dental, we pride ourselves on being patient centered and making you feel at home. Let us help you and your family get on the road to good dental health. Call us today!