You Asked- We Answered! Our Top Tips for a Healthy Smile!
Floss daily – You hear it every time you go in for a checkup and cleaning, but I’ll say it again- floss your teeth every day! While I’d absolutely love for my guests to floss after every meal, flossing once a day is great. I’d recommend flossing at night as part of your bedtime routine. That way, you’ll be sure to remove any bits of food or plaque that has accumulated during the day so it doesn’t sit there all night. Floss before you brush so that all the nutrients in your toothpaste can foam up and soak into your enamel between the teeth!
Visit your dentist – It’s very important to visit your dentist at least twice a year. Even if you brush twice a day, your toothbrush bristles can only reach so far and there will always be some plaque you can’t get to! Professional cleaning tools are small and can reach into the nooks and crannies that your larger toothbrush head can’t reach. For people that tend to build plaque faster, more frequent visits may be necessary. Some saliva has more mineral deposits in it and will always build up plaque a little faster than others. For these special guests, I usually recommend 3 times a year to keep their mouth feeling fresh and keep any odors at bay. For my guests with deeper gums, or who tend toward inflammation, I do recommend cleanings every three months (four times per year). When the gums are deep, the toothbrush bristles can’t react down to the base of the gums, so bacteria are able to set up shop undisturbed. It’s so important to have deep gums professionally cleaned out every three months so that no areas become infected!
Brush your teeth – twice a day? Are there toothbrush bristles you should avoid? What’s the best motion to brush your teeth? How often should you change your toothbrush?
As far as brushing your teeth, twice a day is a must, and three times a day (or after every meal) is ideal. This will remove any remaining food particles from your teeth, gums and tongue after your eat to prevent cavities as well as prevent bad breath! Always use a soft bristle toothbrush- my favorite is the Sonicare toothbrush. It uses both electric and sonic technology to help achieve the cleanest result. This toothbrush actually does most of the brushing for you1 Simply sweep the base of the tooth where your gums are and the vibrating bristles will break up any plaque at the gumline as well as give your gums a massage, then make sure to get into all the grooves at the top of the teeth as well.
Check your toothpaste – what ingredients should you look for? Avoid?
Ingredients-wise, fluoride is the best preventative measure you can take for your teeth. Even if you are not prone to cavities, most of the American diet is very acidic and strips our enamel of the minerals it needs to stay strong. Fluoride toothpastes simply infuse our teeth with what is leached out of it all day long. My personal favorite toothpaste is by prescription only. Fluoridex toothpaste has a higher concentration of fluoride, helps with sensitivity and helps keep your enamel strong if you are prone to cavities, and even prevents erosion of your enamel from acid reflux! A close second is the over the counter toothpaste by Sensodyne with whitening. Everyone wants a bright sparkly smile, but some whitening toothpastes are very abrasive. Sensodyne built its brand on being gentle, and this product delivers.
Avoid Sugar – say no to cavities! What are the main sugars you should stay away from? If you eat candy, what should you do right after? For all my sweets lovers out there, I feel your pain! My office is named Sugar Fix Dental Loft for a reason… I am a sugar fiend myself. Cookies, cake, ice cream, you name it, I love it! There are a couple tips I have to help fend off cavities when you simply cannot give up the sugary treats you love. Sip on water while you’re eating dessert, brush afterwards, or look for a sugar-free version of your favorite candy.
Foods to eat – are there any foods that will naturally brush your teeth? Fight stains?
Apples are a natural tooth scrubber, munch on one after your main meal to help clean your teeth. Strawberries are a natural teeth whitener, so if your smile needs a little boost, snack on a bowl of strawberries to bring an extra sparkle to your smile!
Stay hydrated – how does drinking water have a positive effect on the health of your teeth? Staying hydrated is essential for total body health, and is wonderful for your teeth as well. First, it helps prevent dry mouth, which can cause decay. Second, it rinses away anything you’ve consumed during the day whether its coffee, tea, or a cupcake in the breakroom. For those times that you can’t brush after eating, drinking water is a must!