Dental Smiles Month is here, and we’re doing our part to raise awareness about the importance of oral health and good dental care habits. With that in mind, we’re turning the focus of this blog to your smile, and how to keep it looking its best. Consider this your guide to achieving a dazzling smile and keeping your teeth and gums looking and feeling the best they possibly can. So–what’s the secret of a great smile and healthy teeth? Here are some do’s and don’ts to get you started:
- Have an effective brushing and flossing routine: By taking care of your teeth and your oral hygiene via regular brushing and flossing, you’ll be taking a big step towards a lifetime of healthy smiles. Brushing keeps teeth clean and healthy, while flossing removes debris and bacteria from below the gum line, thus helping to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Both are a necessary part of daily oral hygiene!
- Eat a healthy diet: While you should always consult a medical professional before making a change to your diet, most of the best diet for oral health means restricting sugars and starches while eating plenty of fresh vegetables, lean proteins, and dairy. Getting enough calcium is especially important for strong teeth, so make sure to include plenty of calcium-rich foods!
- Drink enough water: The human body is over 70% water, and drinking enough water every day is one of the best things you can do for both your smile and your overall health. Adequate hydration supports so many important bodily processes, including those that keep your teeth and gums healthy. How much water you need personally depends on many things, but there are some good general guidelines available.
- Don’t consume excess sugars or starches: As we noted above, a healthy diet is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth. Sugary or starchy foods can fuel the growth of bacteria throughout the mouth, which in turn can cause oral health problems like plaque, tooth decay, gum disease, and eventually tooth loss. By limiting sugars and starches and focusing instead on healthier foods, you’ll help support both your overall health and your oral health.
- Don’t eat too many foods that stain your teeth: Some foods can leave stains or discolorations on your teeth, which may or may not be easily removed. Dark-colored and acidic foods are the worst offenders, so try to limit your intake of things like coffee, tea, chocolate, red wine, and tomato sauce. When you do include these in your diet, make sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly with fresh water afterward and then brush and floss.
- Don’t ignore oral health care: This final “don’t” covers a great many oral health sins: don’t neglect signs of oral health problems. If you have tooth pain, if your gums are bleeding, if you grind your teeth–let your dentist know and let them help you address the problem! Likewise, regular trips to your dentist for exams and cleanings are among the most important things you can do for lifelong oral health. Don’t slack off and don’t forget–your dentist needs to see you regularly in order to make sure all is well with your teeth!
We hope this list helps you get started on good oral health habits, or maybe just serves as a reminder of some things you may have forgotten. If you’re overdue for an exam or cleaning–or have another oral health concern you’d like to discuss–get in touch with us today. At Hickory Dental Care, we pride ourselves on helping each patient meet their individual oral health goals and ensure that they enjoy the best possible smile. Our friendly staff will make an appointment for you to come see us, so don’t delay!